Tourist: Album Review – Wild

UK based electronic producer William Phillips A.K.A Tourist releases his second album this calendar year with his latest offering, Wild. The Grammy award winning creative is striking the iron whilst hot to provide listeners with an emotive, ambient yet rhythmically muscular electronic creation. Using a delightful mix of naturally sampled piano and vocal snippets the Southeast London native expounds his signature cerebral sound. A lesson in how to balance organic and synthetic sounds with sensitivity and aplomb yet capturing the vast, emotional range that electronic music can offer. 

            Previous albums such as and Everyday showcase Phillip’s aptitude for tempering bittersweet melancholia with moments of jubilation. These emotive moments could be in part due to Phillip’s use of field recordings to capture a familiar space or a scene of importance in his life. His previous albums contain recordings of Brighton beach where he spent time with an ex-girlfriend or the sound of footsteps from his apartment. This organic sound capturing technique is again deployed to great effect for Wild.

Tourist, Wild Album Artwork

            There is rich humanity in Phillip’s music, be it a sprawling narrative of heartbreak or joyous vitality; the listener is always emotionally present. Never an unwilling participant. Wild explores our abundant human neuroses and crafts a listening experience of both novelty and exploration, ambient calm and bustling energy.

These observations are exemplified by the track, Elixir. Beginning in the vein of a wavy, distant, all-kinds-of-space ambient track only to morph into something altogether more robust and compact. Something tangible and focused, something direct and danceable. This trope permeates other tracks such as So, its rich piano, pitch-shifted, affected vocal snippets project a fragmented musical landscape only to solidify and induce stank-face by way of a floor-filing banger. 

 Title track, Wild is a succinct, bouncy, straight down the line, hook filled offering. Its rhythms are pressing, the textures swirl, melodies ascend and swell; a track that is sure to cater to a large demographic, accessible but also engaging, a deliberate aim realised with expertise.

Listen to the track Kin by Tourist on Soundcloud

Counterpointing all of Tourist’s zippy, accessibility is his other more atmospheric, hazier tracks. Ambience-filled opening track, And So You Were! is warm, fragmented and transcendental. The piano samples merge with the strings and mild sub to create an introspective, lush atmosphere and provide a springboard for the album’s more impactful tracks. Fiction also garners a similar response from the listener, in the form of a beautifully ponderous, gradual and glistening interlude. Creating a fully-formed, accomplished album, not a transient experience but a wholesome, compelling, lasting impression.

Phillips is producing some of his most focused, emotional affecting material in a short time period. With his 2nd release this year of Wild he has hit a purple patch, creating an emotive, comprehensive listen. Representing human experience and emotions in a palette of lush sounds and bittersweet sentimentality, Wildappears to be master of your emotions and shows Tourist operating at the peak of his powers.

Tourist – Wild is released on the 18th Nov buy it here

1 thought on “Tourist: Album Review – Wild Leave a comment

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