Embracing left-field experimentation while remaining definitively danceable, Sonic Boom is a fun new album from Gem FM, the project of artist James Freeman. The Florida-based project infuses traditional instrumentation with electronic production that often achieves a sense of nostalgia — head-scratching in all the good ways.
“I started mixing bits and pieces from different genres and a sort of methodology emerged that formed the basis for Sonic Boom,” Freeman says. “I used more 808-style bass sounds and grooves for a solid bottom end. I also incorporated some more traditional instrument sounds in the mix. As the tune evolves it lets me know what needs to be added.”
Sonic Boom intrigues with an unpredictable dazzle throughout. “4banger” crosses murky, industrial electronics with an exotic pop feeling, exuding a sort of cinematic spaciousness in its second half. The eerie “Serrated” is another standout with a darkly electronic leaning.
Several efforts also succeed in their directly eclectic instrumentation whilst pursuing familiar melodies. “Krawler” floats on a mixture of woodwind-like frolicking and ’80s-friendly guitar distortion, finding beauty in its various instrumentation relaying a cohesive melodic form. Sonic Boom is full of inventive ideas and interesting instrumentation from Gem FM.
Stream Sonic Boom:
“4banger” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2022’ Spotify playlist.