Portable Sunsets (US)

San Francisco's Peter Segerstrom is nothing if not in tune with the zeitgeist, starting with his alias: Portable Sunsets, a name so perfectly attuned to indie culture's pastoral Instagram obsessions that one suspects it came straight from the Witch House / Chill Wave Name Generator. Naturally, there are triangles on the cover of Mercy, his debut album, although the artist's characterization of his own website as containing "a bunch of faded jpgs and flickering gifs" suggests that he's not unaware of how hackneyed such a fixation with pastel pixels has become. His Latest EP, Mercy, isn't outwardly a startlingly sophisticated album; shuttling between ruminative techno and limpid ambient interludes, it makes do with the bare necessities — stripped­back drum programming, quietly evolving synthesizers, some appropriately moody vocals to give it an emotional center. But it pulls you in. Songs like "California" and "Clone Opera" remind me of the San Francisco duo Broker/Dealer's all­hardware live sets of the early 2000s; you can also hear an echo of Los Angeles' Tin Man running through Portable Sunsets' downcast electro­pop. It's not surprisingly to learn that the Field, Ritchie Hawtin and Matthew Dear recently tapped him as being their opening act.
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