Hailing from Waterford, Ireland, Gavin Boyce first came to my attention with his 2012 track “Divine In You.” It became a staple in my DJ sets for years, and it’s been a delight to observe his artistic growth ever since. “Divine In You,” and the follow up “Haboo” showed a spark of something that’s sadly lacking in much of today’s electronic music: emotional intelligence. If you believe, as I do, that at its best music can provide something akin to a guided meditation, allowing us to explore the entire range of human feelings in a somewhat contained “safe space,” then music like Gavin’s stands out amid the noise. It’s always a joy to watch a producer, having mastered the challenges of actually creating and finishing a track, set out on the journey of infusing their music with as much sentiment and personality as they can. I think most people expect this sort of expressiveness from their jazz trumpet or rock guitar solos, but sadly it’s become too rare a phenomenon in instrumental electronic music for audiences to demand it. And it wasn’t always this way.
With Anywhere Here, Gavin Boyce’s ability to express himself, to communicate through his productions has taken a great leap forward, and the album is a great example of why any aspiring producer should be exploring more than just technical mastery. Many years in the making and utterly eschewing the convenience of sample packs (which Gavin dismisses as “Legos”), the unique sonic aesthetic of Anywhere Here is built from unidentifiable audio fragments and hand-tweaked synths, topped off with a lot of live-played keys. From the muted, melancholic, heart-string tweaking “Be Grand” with its grave piano chords and dramatic synth atmospheres, through future/retro Blade Runner-esque yet somehow tongue-in-cheek “Yacht Rock 2049,” to an ebullient new version of “Haboo,” Anywhere Here shows remarkable depth and breadth. Personal standouts include the densely layered, complex sonic world contained within “Kitui” and the eyes-closed chugging groove of “Roll Program,” but I urge you to dive in and find your own favorites.
Released on perennially solid underground label Nordic Trax, this album probably won’t be touted by the house glitterati as a work of genius, and your favorite influencer might not be there to reassure you that it’s OK to love it. But please trust a musical romantic and give this one your time. Live with it. It might just be the new friend you didn’t know you needed.
Gavin Boyce: Anywhere Here (Nordic Trax / June 25 2021 / Digital)
1. Gavin Boyce: Anywhere Here (Intro) (02:00)
2. Gavin Boyce: Be Grand (06:47)
3. Gavin Boyce: Radarz (08:03)
4. Gavin Boyce: Roll Program (06:58)
5. Gavin Boyce: Olive Groves (06:19)
6. Gavin Boyce: Face Down (2021 album mix) (07:38)
7. Gavin Boyce: Cosmic Tourist (05:55)
8. Gavin Boyce: Kitui (08:020)
9. Gavin Boyce: Haboo (2021 album mix) (07:03)
10. Gavin Boyce: Guidance Internal (07:18)
11. Gavin Boyce: Yacht Rock 2049 (06:20)
12. Gavin Boyce: Anywhere Here (main mix) (07:13)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo by the label.