Budapest producer Route 8’s long-awaiting debut full release almost didn’t happen. The original album was lost when the producer – and the Lobster Theremin crew – had all their belongings stolen in Detroit, whilst on their first tour of the United States a few years ago. The Motor City has had a significant influence on the labels output; piecing together new and exciting sounds that float over the sonic history of America’s great manufacturing cities – Detroit and Chicago.
Annoyed, but determined not to let an album concept so close to heart go to waste, Route 8 began re-piecing the record back together. Rewind The Days Of Youth (releasing on Lobster Theremin) is inspired by Szilveszter Horváth’s artist alias, which borrows its name from the highway in Hungary that the producer regularly cruises down to visit his grandmother.
The aesthetic is just that: cruising music. Themed around a journey from the ambient launch of ‘Departure’ to the down-tempo buoyance of ‘Arrival, the entire record gives off big ‘cruising down the highway’ energy as we float between glitched-out IDM, bass-heavy minimal house rhythms and emotionally uplifting synth work that incites a real sense of nostalgia and images of a distant sunset turning everything it touches to deep orange.
The subtle grooves of the title track, ‘Bound Together’ and ‘Nowhere’ all give off a cloudless sunset vibrancy, brimming with Larry Heard-esque basslines, acid-licked grooves and dreamy, elegant synths dripping in brilliant colour.
The interlude marks the half-way point of the record, and with it comes a muscular drum workout, blending with otherworldly atmospherics that takes the album down a darker route as day turns to night. The meditative state evolves throughout ‘4th Journey’ – a cut of dreamy, ageless IDM with odes to influences both past and present – while ‘Tomorrow Comes Today’ introduces Australian vocalist Quals into the frame on what is arguably the albums stand-out track; a memorable Erika De Casier-like groover. Available with digital purchase is a bonus track – ‘This Far’ – which samples Leslie Howard in the 1936 picture The Petrified Forest. “I suppose I was looking for something to believe in. Worth living for, worth dying for…and I’ve come this far on my journey,” says the pitched-down sample of Howard as an acid-tinged, club-ready daydream plays out. A fitting end to the trip.