Portland, Oregon-based alternative/indie artist Radiolarian, aka Gordon Ashby, recently released his debut EP, The Man That Time Forgot, delving into the instability of a world enveloped in vast technological progress and social turmoil.
Talking about the disquiet of the EP, Ashby explains, “There are moments where you feel good, and you can escape and feel normal, and then there’s an underlying anxiety under everything. That’s kind of how life has felt these last couple of years.”
Growing up in Portland, Ashby performed in the city’s house show circuit with various projects, although not as the frontman. In 2017, he decided to go solo, writing material for The Man That Time Forgot. As the record took shape, Ashby did it all: played, recorded, and mixed all the tracks.
Encompassing five tracks, the EP begins with “Embarkation Day,” opening on soft gleaming colors, followed by the entry of Ashby’s lush, dreamy vocals, floating over curling tendrils of sound. When the syncopated rhythm jumps in accompanied by a luminous guitar, the tune takes on rippling layers of buoyancy.
“Escape” rolls out on jangly guitars conjuring up space-pop textures mixed with savors of The Cranberries, misted by layers of gentle, glistening coloration. Ashby’s voice imbues the lyrics with creamy, nasal tones, giving the tune mounting timbres.
“Posthumanism” features tangs of eerie, futuristic Twilight Zone aromas blended with hints of surf-rock. At once psychedelic and edged with intergalactic fusions, the tune glows and pours out oscillating surfaces riding a driving rhythm.
“Our Ambassador” takes on darker energy, riding a slow throbbing beat capped by wistful vocals, emanating moody tones. A cavernous bassline and tight, crunching percussion kick the harmonics into a rumbling, lustrous flow as Ashby’s crystalline falsetto gives the lyrics pensive wafting tiers.
Probably the best track on the EP, “Interstellar” highlights Ashby’s ethereal timbres as jangly, platinum guitars infuse the tune with shimmering colors gliding on sheens of translucency. Traces of art-rock and sumptuous post-punk remnants imbue the harmonics with resonant kaleidoscopic essence.
Imaginative and coruscating with scrumptious, lustrous patinas of avant-garde dream-pop, The Man That Time Forgot is complex and oh so captivating.