Tape Review: Wizard Apprentice’s ‘I Am Invisible’

Wizard Apprentice

I Am Invisible

(Ratskin Records)

There seems to be a general misconception that electronic music must, on some level, be cold, precise, and alienating. On I Am Invisible, California’s Wizard Apprentice dismantles that concept, taking the bedroom singer/songwriter approach to the genre to craft stark, beautiful, and emotionally bare compositions that act as an introvert’s best invitation for connection.

The opening title track starts with bright, cascading synths before fading to give way to Wizard Apprentice’s vocals, delivered a cappella in a sweet yet somber sung-spoke fashion before the synths come back to marry with them. Following track “Sensuality” takes the form of a simple shuffling post-punk tune not far removed from Joy Division, while A-side closer “A Debt” is a sprawling ambient pop piece with powerful, matter-of-fact lyrics that touch on being able to forgive those who have hurt you now that you’ve hurt someone, shifting into a swarm of skittering electronics after the four-and-a-half-minute mark.

On the B-side, “Our Head Is Not Our House” is a short piece featuring some of the more experimental techniques on the album. Wizard Apprentice’s vocals are bit more ‘acrobatic’ here, and there’s haunting effect that comes in and out during the duration of the song that sounds like wailing ghost. “Research Stage of Love” is a warm and vulnerable song that balances swirling electronics and picked acoustic guitar over lyrics weighing the pros and cons of opening up your heart to others. Finally, I Am Invisible closes with “As If”, a gorgeous, watery, glitched-out love ballad.

A fascinating listen for a multitude of reasons, including its blunt, philosophical lyrics, soft, cracked vocals, effective use of auditory white space, and quiet artistic ambition facilitated by a lack of attachment to technique, I Am Invisible is music for the intimate, futuristic setting of Replicant-owned cafés.

 

Favorite tracks: “A Debt”, “Research Stage of Love”

 

 

Rating: Strongly Recommended

 

You can purchase Wizard Apprentice’s I Am Invisible here.

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