FORHILL – OUTLINES EP (SELF-RELEASED, 2020)

In just over 10 minutes the Boston based electronic artist has created a pastiche of hazy synths, muted kicks and nostalgic melodies that filter these glowing arpeggios through the lens of 80’s synthwave and 00’s chillwave. While not being a revival of either, the Outlines EP is both an expansion  and a concise offering of these elements that has helped Brian Fata gain a strong foothold among adherents among online communities like Electronic Gems.

Outlines begins with an eponymous track that builds from ambient washes of synths into several tight arpeggios with bright, buzzing synth leads wrapped in nostalgia and sweet kind of melancholy when tuned just so. The track slowly takes flight as those arpeggios are met with some rolling, muted kicks and folded into the general body of the song. “Closer” continues to wrap melodies around these tight arpeggios, but brings in a lite-AM funk groove by the way of the bass line – a warbly, stereo-panned feature that is much more oriented to the dance floor than the bedroom recording studio. Splitting the difference between the two is “Iris” whose steady bass line marshals the heavy nostalgia of the lead synth into dark lit corners of a city on deep lockdown. Passing the places we used to dance until the morning, now boarded indefinitely.

Spanning several releases, Outlines is Forhill at the top of his game. Filtering the neon glow of the dance floor through several layers of bittersweet memories of a past that we may never see again. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *