Anthony Naples: Body Pill LP
When 2012 began, Anthony Naples didn't have a song to his name; by the year's end, he was being heralded as one of the city's rising talents. The genesis was "Mad Disrespect" -- a cut that dominated Brooklyn's underground electronic music scene even before its official release. Not only was it Naples's first single, but it was also the first track he'd recorded, period. On a whim, he sent the track to Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, the founders of New York's respected Mister Saturday Night series, and it caught their attention. Naples ended up delivering the label's inaugural release: the 2012 Mad Disrespect EP. His music caught the ear of a number of people that summer, none more important than Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, who commissioned Naples to remix his single "128 Harps" -- Naples's first remix. Now, after releasing on labels including Rubadub, Opal Tapes, and The Trilogy Tapes and performing at Fabric in London and Berghain Panorama Bar in Berlin, Naples presents his debut full-length, Body Pill. Naples lifted the title from a mangled English translation in a Japanese vending machine, and says, "When I ran the title past Kieran... he said it just sounded like a lost rave classic, but I thought in the end it makes sense. The LP is a small dose of synthetic noises and rhythms... I wanted to make a streetwise record that was also solid and simple, like a brick or those weird fluorescent light tubes in the subway. They give off this weird hum that you hear only when you're alone in the station between trains late at night. I wanted to make a record that evoked that experience." Body Pill is a surprising album for Naples, his most understated and mature release to date. It opens with a wall of ambient noise on "Ris," only to be overtaken by a modest synth groove. Ambient noise washes over tracks like "Way Stone" and "Pale," but that's not to say there aren't echoes of Naples's work for Mister Saturday Night lurking throughout. "Abrazo" feels like the natural companion to Naples's earlier singles, with elegant strings mingling with a deconstructed house-inspired beat. "Used to Be" is arguably Naples's largest beat to date, with rolling hi-hats counterbalancing stabbing synths. Closer "Miles" abruptly morphs from a lo-fi house anthem into a minimal synth soundscape, a microcosm of the record as a whole.