Published Jun 12, 2019Since making waves in 2012 with his debut, Mad Disrespect EP, Brooklynite Anthony Naples has steadily built his status as one of the leading lights of New York house, guiding the pulse of the club scene there with his weathered, lived-in vibes. Much of his appeal derives from his ability to blend precisely these kinds of analogue/hardware-based production values with the rhythmic complexity and sonic nuance that modern recording affords, pleasing fans of both the old and new.
Fog FM, his third LP, continues this approach to excellent effect. Arriving less than a year after 2018's Take Me With You, which saw Naples filtering his sound through a decidedly more chilled-out perspective, this latest is a club record through and through, featuring a handful of truly great tracks, supported by some totally solid ones, almost all of which could serve as a postcard for New York's current house scene. Certainly those interested but unsure of where to start in that regard could do worse than Fog FM.
Things start out invitingly, with the cozy organ pads and percolating rhythms of opener "A.I.R.," but the first really irresistible moment comes when the central bass line of the title track makes its entrance, a good five minutes in. Naples proves adept at moments of delayed gratification like this, deftly adding a final element to suddenly make sense of everything that's been prepared for it (the culmination of "Benefit," with its buzzing synths, is another great example).
Other tracks are more straight-ahead. "Purple Iris" is probably the hardest thing here (a psychedelic rabbit-hole that flirts with acid ever so slightly), but the rest is bouncy, laidback stuff that's quite amiable, sometimes calling to mind recent work by Canada's Project Pablo — although his earthiness presents as more of an urban grit here.
Overall, this seems like the most substantial and focused artist statement we've had from Naples yet. It's certainly his longest, and there's frankly little fat to trim from this. (Incienso / ANS)