Sonic Gap – Cosmos (2020)

Sonic Gap is a electronic music producer from Sweden. He first came onto the scene in June of 2019 with his track “Momentum.” Since then he has released a whopping three full-lengths (in less than a year), and a number of singles. Sonic Gap’s latest release is entitled “Cosmos.” It was released on August 5th, 2020 and features twelve tracks–many of which were previously released as singles or are remakes.

“Cosmos” is the sort of album that does a whole lot in a short time. Most of the tracks here are brief, (three minutes of less). “Cosmos” offers a good mix of music including instrumental tracks as well as songs that feature vocals. Sonic Gap’s voice is reminiscent of mid-nineties synthpop crossed with a Reznor-esque sensibility. There isn’t a whole lot of dark content here. Most of the music here is playful. “Ninja Control” is a good example of this, featuring a catchy, almost cat-like lead. Others, like “Someone Else” sound lighthearted and uplifting, albeit in a somber way.

Style wise, I much prefer the darker sounds that Sonic Gap experiments on “Cosmos.” The opening “Futurehole” is very 1990s goth to me. In fact, I would go as far to say that it reminds me of early Die Form or perhaps Attrition. I also really enjoyed Sonic’s (no pun intended) Dr. Robotnik stylings on the song “No Way Out.” As a point of personal preference, I wish that the ideas presented in “Futurehole” and “No Way Out” were explored more fully. If it was me in the producer seat for this album I would’ve chose to extend both of these songs and add much darker, more reverb leaden vocals to help expand what both of these songs are trying to accomplish. Regardless of how I would produce them personally, I still really enjoy both tracks.

In terms of what Sonic Gap presents vocally on “Cosmos,” I think there are some great ideas present, but I think they fall slightly short due to the brief song lengths. Shorter songs, at least in my opinion, lend themselves better to instrumental music. When it comes to vocals I prefer a much more old school approach of having a proper verse/pre-chorus/chorus/bridge/repeat structure. For instance, on “Bounty Hunter,” I found myself happily bopping along to the song, and by the time it finally gets its hooks into me it’s already over. Now to some, this might be a viable strategy in getting the listener to press play again after the track concludes, but I think that due to how short “Bounty Hunter” is it never feels fully fleshed out. It’s still one of my favorite cuts from “Cosmos” but it could’ve been subjective better if it was longer, less repetitive, and had a key change or two. Perhaps it should be said that I think many if not all of the songs presented here would be great candidates for remixes by other artists. I for one can see a lot of potential on “Cosmos” that wasn’t tapped into on the songwriting side. Outsourcing these songs out to other artists for remixing might be an interesting experiment.

The production value on “Cosmos” is inoffensive. It’s not all squeeky clean, though. Some of the life is sucked out of the vocals, in particular, leaving them occasionally dull and undynamic. I think that the music itself could’ve benefited from more dynamism as well, whether that be through a more creative use of EQ, volume, sidechain compression or all of the above. There are a lot of safe choices made with “Cosmos” that do make it a pleasant listening experience, but my old ears thirst for something a little more adventurous.

“Multiverse” serves as the only song on the album that I feel hits all of the right notes. This is primarily due to how different it is within the context of “Cosmos.” There’s just something really tangible about how “Multiverse” sounds. It is provocative with its 1970 aesthetics which is a sound that I don’t often hear replicated often. Sonic Gap’s vocals also fit really well between the high-frequency whistles, the funky guitar, and slow swung drums. I would really like to see Sonic Gap move more into this direction in the future as I feel he really excels with this type of sound.

STAND-OUT TRACKS: “Multiverse,” “Futurehole,” “No Way Out,” “Bounty Hunter.”

RECOMMENDED FOR: Opened-minded people looking for an escape from 1980s aesthetics, fans of 90s synthpop.

Album Color Profile: #1ABC9C

You can find all things Sonic Gap at https://sonicgap.bandcamp.com/

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