When it comes to his synth compositions, fans of Sam Prekop’s earlier solo work or his output with The Sea And Cake could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled upon another musician entirely. 2010’s Old Punch Card was a radical left turn for the artist, a transition to aural soundscapes and electronic music that felt like it was evoking the future of ambient music as envisioned by a computer programmer from the ’60s. The simultaneously retro and forward-looking songs conjured up associations with everything from Brian Eno to a madman wielding an oscillator inside the movie Tron.
His new album The Republic continues in that vein, using his homemade modular synths to create eerily affecting music. And while the first half of the record was composed specifically for an art installation, this exclusive video accompanying “The Geometric” from the album’s second half wouldn’t be out of place in a gallery, either. Created by visual artist Brownshoesonly, a hypnotic, arpeggiating synth lays down a pulsing yet minimalist pattern, while the screen image flickers like a long-lost VHS cassette. Vague images twitch and spin, as though it were the kill screen on some barebones Atari arcade game. It’s entrancing and off-putting in equal measure, much like the challenging music it complements.
The Republic is on sale now, and Prekop is about to embark on a west coast tour supporting it. Check out the video and tour dates below, though The A.V. Club denies responsibility for any fugue states that may result from this combination of image and sound.
Sam Prekop West Coast Tour 2015:
June 1—Fitzgerald’s—Houston, Texas
June 2—502 Bar—San Antonio, Texas
June 3—Red 7—Austin, Texas
June 4—Club Dada—Dallas, Texas
June 6—Valley Bar—Phoenix, Arizona
June 7—Casbah—San Diego, California
June 8—Hotel Cafe—Los Angeles, California
June 9—Slims—San Francisco, California
June 11—Doug Fir Lounge—Portland, Oregon
June 12—Barboza—Seattle, Washington