CD, M-Tronic, 2004
Michael Morton, alias Displacer, delivers his latest release, “Arroyo”, through the French label M-Tronic, after a host of intriguing appearances on various compilations and remixes. Arroyo being a key location in “Fallout” (one of the best PC RPG games of the ’90s), my interest was instantly triggered when laying eyes on this record, although I don’t know if that’s what was in Morton’s mind when titling the release.
Computer game fanboy-ism aside, “Arroyo” is beautiful. Easily one of the best releases I’ve had the luck to hear recently, it combines melodic and melancholic synth work with gentle and structured beats, layered upon chilling ambiences to a wonderful effect. The eleven original tracks flow seamlessly, with an organic and coherent feel that will inevitably carry the listener away on a trip to the dreamy landscapes that Morton’s sounds have crafted. The three remixes from 02, Dither and Flint Glass are nice touches, giving us the other artists’ takes on Morton’s work, such as the remix of “Fueled”, possibly the most intense track of the album.
Easily accessible, yet wonderfully complex and worked on, “Arroyo” is an excellent record for nigh anyone to chill out and trip away to, guaranteed to grab the attention of everyone with a taste for the ambient with its ethereal and affecting sounds. A must have, this release will most certainly create a grand following of Displacer’s work. I’ll be eagerly expecting more greatness from this act.
— George Mouratidis