Four years have elapsed since the release of Profit Prison’s enigmatic “Dreams Of A Dark Building“ EP, and now, in the wake of a global pandemic, the elusive figure at the forefront of dungeon synth emerges once more from his metaphorical sepulchre. For Parker Lautenschlager, the Seattle-based virtuoso behind the solo venture, the interceding years have been anything but kind.
In “Gilt,” Profit Prison’s first full-length venture, he delves deeper into the enigmatic realms of Italo and hi-NRG body music. Within this audacious exploration, the core elements that epitomize Profit Prison—such as evocative vocals and melodies that echo the groundbreaking work of synth forebears—are masterfully woven into the music, setting the stage for an otherworldly dance experience.
The lead single from the album, “Sophia,” stands out with its lush Moroder-inspired bassline and Kraftwerk-like sirens and sprechstimme. The combination, feeling at times like a delicious mashup of Trans-Europe Express and the theme to Midnight Express, creates a striking contrast between its enigmatically veiled vocals and an ethereal chorus that tantalizingly promises renewal, only to reveal a lament of total loss. The song is rich with introspection and desire, capturing a longing for freedom, a place to call home, and meaningful connections, all while acknowledging the ephemeral nature of dreams and the poignancy of loss.
The eerie, lo-fi video was directed, filmed and edited by Jesy Fortino aka Tiny Vipers. The ambiance it conjures is akin to navigating through a surreal dream, where reality is turned on its head, and everything encountered is a mirror image or a shadow of something else. This landscape is characterized by inversions that upend the familiar, reflections that distort perceptions, and projections that cast forth images from the depths of the subconscious. In this realm, the boundaries between the tangible and the imagined blur.
Watch the video for “Sophia” below:
Parker has expanded the temporal scope of his compositions in his recent work, with the majority of tracks now extending to five minutes and culminating in the seven-minute finale of “A.R.P. (Amphetamine Research Project).” This closing piece, an almost progressive disco jam, evokes the essence of a lucid dream set against the backdrop of Studio 54’s legendary dance floor, blending the ethereal with the electric.
Gilt releases on 26 April via AVANT! Records.
Pre-order and pre-save here.
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