The latest from Amsterdam's fledging Audio Culture imprint taps Montreal producer Adam Hodgins (a.k.a. Iron Galaxy) for his debut single. Making use of a formula not too far off from fellow Montrealite Jacques Greene, Hodgins' seven-minute "Attention Seeker" is a truly impressive debut that not only serves as the label's strongest release to date, but also further reveals the depth of Montreal's still-burgeoning electronic-music scene.
There's nothing necessarily groundbreaking about "Attention Seeker" (which is a true single, having no b-side accompaniment). Listeners familiar with the more plush and sensual garage-indebted outings of Greene, Julio Bashmore, and the like will recognize many familiar elements—lush chords, bubbling bass, acid-tinged melodies, and re-pitched vocal phrases among them. Still, Hodgins' track never feels too derivative, his personality shining throughout with a dip in tempo well below 120 bpm and a vibrant swing that marks the tune's entire run. Essentially, the song can be broken down into three separate movements, which are not just breakdowns or rearrangements of elements, but genuine sections where new themes and rhythms are introduced. From the dense chords, swung snares, and bouncing bassline of the first three-and-a-half minutes, the tune effortlessly falls into an airy progression, landing on a more contemplative and blissful tone while the drums—now complete with rolling snares and clattering hats—keep the dancefloor involved. Finally, "Attention Seeker" winds down in its final minute with a deliciously acid-tweaked bassline, spinning around as the synths, melodies, and beat are methodically stripped back until the song is bare.
The beauty of "Attention Seeker" lies in how imperceptible and natural in their flow these transitions are, so much so that the almost eight-minute track feels like one cohesive piece of work. Each section is immensely dense and alluring, to the point that they're easy to get lost in, but Hodgins still manages to pull the listener through the separate movements in expert fashion, never startling or revealing any glimpses of the machines at work behind the scenes. With "Attention Seeker," Hodgins has offered up one of the most unexpected and distinct debuts of the year. And considering the tune is left to stand all on its own (even appearing as a single-sided 12" for the vinyl junkies), Hodgins' first release leaves us all the more wanting.