Though many listeners would rightfully associate Sam Prekop with the airy post-rock sound he explored in his band the Sea and Cake or with his early solo albums, the Chicago musician's muse slowly turned to electronic sounds sometime around the release of his 2010 solo album Old Punch Card. The formless modular synthesis of that album led to somewhat more structured ambient electronics five years later on The Republic, and with another five years, Prekop's electronic sounds reach new levels of composition and emotional clarity on Comma. Prekop was already experimenting with incorporating more composed song structures on The Republic, but the sounds were frenetic and brassy.
Comma by Sam Prekop After two albums of dreamy Sea and Cake-esque guitar pop (Sam Prekop and Who's Your New Professor), followed by two albums of synth experiments (Old Punch Card and The Republic), Sam Prekop returns with a new album that aims to combine the virtues of both facets of his solo work. Right from the start, the production on Comma is undeniably lush, "Park Line" fading in with just the right balance of cosmic spaciousness and rhythmic crunch. It's a balancing act that Prekop manages to pull off admirably across 41 minutes, allowing enough propulsive elements and melodic through-lines to carry the album forward, while also offering plenty of cushiony ambient textures to nestle into.
Trawling through the sixty-two page press pack is evidence enough of Sam Prekop's previous form, even if one isn't aware of The Sea and Cake and Shrimp Boat (his bands), nor of his Jim O'Rourke and Tortoise connections. Here we find his fifth solo offering Comma. A modular synth built box of beats, noise and pulses organised into ten neat and composed pieces that actually go a little way towards addressing some of the problems of modular synths.