Hercules And Love Affair - 'In Amber'

7/10

Ever since they first emerged with their breakthrough self-titled debut album in 2008, producer and artist Andrew Butler's Hercules And Love Affair project has stood as one of the more adventurous and progressive names on the international dance scene. While inhabiting the bright and vibrant world of international clubbing for the last decade, their sound has been greeted as something filled with more heartfelt lyricism and humble emotions than most. And after a five-year hiatus, they have now returned to deliver their fifth full-length 'In Amber', a record that sees them take a step back from their usual guise.

Throughout this new collection, it is clear that Butler had lost his desire for uplifting club anthems, and instead focuses itself on the raw and driven direction that only rarely inhabited his work so far. From the start, 'In Amber' stands as one of his more progressive works to date, opening up the idea of bringing that powerful emotion to the forefront, pushed ever forward by some truly absorbing production. Collaborating with Anohni for much of the release, they have conceived a record that brings the best of both of their worlds together and offers up some truly memorable works as a result.

While it is a sharp veer away from his usual output, 'In Amber' still manages to pack plenty of punches when it can. Hercules And Love Affair are clearly moving into the next stage of their musical evolution, something that reaches far within themselves to unveil a more atmospheric aesthetic throughout.

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