Exo

Album Review of Exo by Gatekeeper.

Home » Electronic » Exo

Exo

Gatekeeper

Exo by Gatekeeper

Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Hippos in Tanks
Genre(s): Electronic, Electro-Industrial

62 Music Critic Score
How the Music Critic Score works

Buy Exo from Amazon

Exo - Fairly Good, Based on 6 Critics

AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

The duo known as Gatekeeper is one of the rising stars in an offshoot of electronic dance music known as "vaporwave." A decidedly dystopian genre, the progenitors of this style stitch together found sounds, samples, and glistening beats for a hyper-glassine sound that would feel equally appropriate playing underneath a modern cut of Blade Runner or a first-person shooter zombie attack video game. Unlike their genre's name, Gatekeeper's work doesn't flitter away into the ether. This is fully grounded dance music covered in the glint of neon and the glow of an iPhone.

Full Review >>

New Musical Express (NME) - 70
Based on rating 3.5/5
70

Gatekeeper’s Aaron David Ross and Matthew Arkel crunch elements of ’80s post-industrial dance, horror/sci-fi soundtracks and computer game music into an enjoyably garish whole. This smash’n’grab approach yields some curious echoes: their electro-horror aesthetic is hugely reminiscent of Mark Shreeve, while the metallic percussion of ‘Tree Drum’ recalls Brad Fiedel’s [i]Terminator[/i] soundtracks and ‘Dromos’ sounds a lot like The Prodigy circa ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’. ‘Visitor’ and ‘Re-gen’ alternate between VHS-ident trashiness and widescreen sci-fi grandeur and, just to add to the retro-futurist disorientation, the album comes complete with its own computer game.[i]Joseph Stannard[/i] .

Full Review >>

Pitchfork - 58
Based on rating 5.8/10
58

It's around 18 months since the New York-based duo Matthew Arkell and Aaron David Ross released the Giza EP under their Gatekeeper alias, positioning themselves as another act to ride one of the plentiful waves of 1980s nostalgia. That release was fixed as a dystopian electronic fantasia, which Pitchfork's Jess Harvell correctly placed somewhere between Cabaret Voltaire, Detroit techno, and Vangelis' bled-dry soundtrack to Blade Runner. Here on Exo, the duo's debut album for Hippos in Tanks, the fundamental Gatekeeper template has been stretched and tweaked, putting one tentative foot forward into the future while the other remains firmly rooted in the past.

Full Review >>

Tiny Mix Tapes - 50
Based on rating 2.5/5
50

Contemporary pop music is increasingly dependent upon a series of conceptual frames to produce its intended effect. It’s no longer enough to simply listen to a record; the contemporary listener is obliged to examine press materials, interviews, blogs, Twitter feeds, live performances, and associated visual materials in order to construct a new set of aesthetic values around which the listening experience can be organized. These conceptual strategies have been key to gallery art for more than three decades now (the rise of the “artist’s statement”), but their gradual incursion into the relatively naïve realm of pop has been something of a shock to the system.

Full Review >>

Tiny Mix Tapes - 50
Based on rating 2.5/5
50

Contemporary pop music is increasingly dependent upon a series of conceptual frames to produce its intended effect. It’s no longer enough to simply listen to a record; the contemporary listener is obliged to examine press materials, interviews, blogs, Twitter feeds, live performances, and associated visual materials in order to construct a new set of aesthetic values around which the listening experience can be organized. These conceptual strategies have been key to gallery art for more than three decades now (the rise of the “artist’s statement”), but their gradual incursion into the relatively naïve realm of pop has been something of a shock to the system.

Full Review >>

Exclaim
Their review was generally favourable

Following 2010's Giza EP, Gatekeeper (aka the now NYC-based duo of Aaron David Ross and Matthew Arkell) release their debut album, Exo. Gatekeeper blend the dystopian aural vision of John Carpenter with the crisply metallic videogame soundtrack work of Amon Tobin, plus a ton of gorgeous acid bass lines. The album will be followed by a first-person gaming environment designed by motion graphics artist Tabor Robak, inspired by tracks on the record.

Full Review >>

'Exo'

is available now