Electronic producer / multi-instrumentalist Robert Yang based himself amongst San Francisco’s music scene in 2005, and since he emerged under his Bezier alias four years ago he’s managed to release a prolific stream of EPs both solo and alongside the likes of Fort Romeau and Anonstop, whilst also operating as a member of that city’s Honey Soundsystem crew. While Yang’s preceding releases as Bezier have leant towards New Wave and synth-pop influences, this latest 12” EP on Dark Entries ‘Primes’ sees him getting much more expansive and ethereal over its three new tracks.
On the A-side, ‘Primes’ emerges out of glittering layers of rippling analogue synths before stomping midtempo beats lock in against a monotonous bass groove, the sense of relentless mechanical propulsion balanced out by trails of arpeggiated synths and icily pretty melodic pads. While the sense of headnod groove that powers beneath calls to mind associations with hiphop, the expansive synthscapes that Yang crafts here sit far closer in spirit to John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream’s eighties electronic film scores, with SURVIVE’s brooding synth homages to the above figures providing an immediate contemporary comparison point.
By comparison, ‘Stranger’, a collaboration with Jacktone’s Doc Sleep, ventures out into the sort of dark-hued Italo / EBM territory explored by the likes of Arnaud Rebotini as Nicole Ginelli’s reverb-treated vocals echo out over a backdrop of glittering synth arpeggios and throbbing bass sequences, the eerie minor-key ambience that lurks throughout introducing an undercurrent of tension and unease.
If the aforementioned track offers up this EP’s one dancefloor centred moment, on the flipside ‘Imperial Tranz-Am’, originally written as the soundtrack for SF film-maker Aron Kantor’s queer fantasy film of the same name, offers up what’s easily its most imposing and majestic moment, spending its thirteen minutes conjuring foreboding yet wide-eyed atmosphere as glacial analogue synths build into a towering wall of powerful yet delicate layers and jittering, almost trap-indebted snare rolls wind their way around a stripped-down beat groove that sounds pitched-down almost to the point of paralysis.
Once again, it conjures up the sense of gliding through some dystopian eighties sci-fi flick more than anything else, introducing a sense of deeply immersive reverie that sees Yang taking full advantage of the broad canvas afforded to him here. Let’s hope we get a chance to hear him stretch his talents over a full-length Bezier album sometime soon.