By Erik Myers
In the time since his gorgeous debut, Dark Rift, Travis Egedy has made Denver his underground playground with his “Real Is A Feeling” parties. Hosted at The Meadowlark, the monthly series features him, as Pictureplane, and other guest DJs spinning eccentric mixes that typically pop up online mere hours after closing time. His new album could almost double as one of those single-track downloads, though there is a difference: You can only stream it for free.
That, and perhaps the digital separation of the tracks. Each could flow easily into the next on Thee Physical, as they are all similar in rhythm and utilize Pictureplane’s stylistic trademark of hard throbs ebbed down to sound more warm and sensual. This unified approach is a reversal of the grab-bag exhilaration of Dark Rift, but it does play well into an underlying theme of physical contact; the skin-on-skin type, to be specific. It also forces a more consistent character for the ghostly Egedy, elevating him to the role of seductive figure.
While Thee Physical is effective in its cohesiveness, the strict adherence to a single tone can get tiresome.
Underneath the luster, Egedy hasn’t changed that much. He’s still a talented melodist, and he’s still fixated on the faded techno and electronica of the ‘90s. “Sex Mechanism” is built around a commanding set of female singer samples, a nod towards Snap! and C+C Music Factory. Nika Danilova of Zola Jesus provides her enchanting vocals for a similar effect on the excellent “Trancegender,” trading lines with Egedy as he envisions a world in which “he” and “she” are one in the same.