July 24th, 2017 | Album reviews

Hit + Run

Oxnard-based underground producer Esgar’s new release Memory is a big departure from his previously trippy, bass-heavy music. Whereas his 2013 self-titled release was comprised of swaggering dub sounds, this 8-song album is an unsettling foray into ambient/drone territory with songs that will produce the best kind of anxiety, like watching a really good thriller. It’s fitting that he describes the songs as “scenes” on his Bandcamp page: Memory is an immersive aural experience. It kicks off with “Overthrow,” a doomy song featuring hallucinatory, cyclical droning. Heavy bass vibrates throughout the tracks, while high-pitched sounds skitter on top of the dark noise on tunes like “Initiate” and “Awake.” While this collection is incredibly experimental, Esgar achieves moments of real beauty, like the slow-burning, building intensity in “Develop.” He’s always testing the boundaries of electronica, and Memory is a demonstration of Esgar’s shape-shifting creativity.

—Julia Gibson