Neuroceptor, a four-piece electronica fusion group from Rochester, NY, has just released their first EP as a band, Reuptake. The group released the album on August 30 while playing the Purple Pig Music Festival in Naples, NY. Reuptake features six tracks that blend organic sounds with electronic beats. According to the band’s keys player Mike Lopresti, who also wrote and produced the album, “most of the tracks are inspired by some piece of nature or culture…the whole concept of Neuroceptor is blending electronica with these organic and natural inspirations.” With tracks like “Estuary Path”, “Roads of Spain”, and “Giant Earth Shattering”, Neuroceptor’s fascination between natural and synthetic dualities surfaces in both song titles and composition.
The opening track, “Anura” is named after the Greek term for the genus classification of “toad.” The tune has an underwater feel, setting a fluid tone for the EP. Beginning with fast, snappy drumming and a tight bass line, the addition of melodic keys shore up the full sound. As the track progresses, a plethora of croaking sounds, produced with analog synthesizers, create an out-of-this-worldly amphibious effect. The electronica track, nearly seven minutes in length, gets intense in the middle, but returns to the melody for a gradual comedown as it closes.
The aquatic vibe carriers over to the second track, “Ganges of Heaven”. Led by the guitar, this tune follows a more linear rock path than “Anura”. Third up, “Roads of Spain” introduces the band’s versatile side with a mix of reggae samples and ambient synth sounds. One could easily imagine blasting this jam at a summer beach party.
“Estuary Path” showcases Lopresti’s production skills. Both eerie and ambient at once, the song has the most personality of any on the album. It commences with the flowing theme introduced in the first couple songs. A few minutes in, however, sharper, more menacing synthetic sounds are incorporated. The track progresses through a Daft Punk-esque section before closing with strange samples playing over the dance party version of The X-Files theme song. As a whole, the nearly nine-minute long song is a captivating journey with distinct sections.
While Neuroceptor’s first self-titled EP was recorded solely by Lopresti, he recruited a band for a live show and they’re featured on the new album. “Reuptake is supposed to highlight us as a band,” Lopresti stated. “Giant Earth”, the fifth track, starts a bit slowly, but picks up with some funk in the middle and concludes with the most deeply layered and fullest sound on the EP. The finale, “Collective”, returns to reggae for an easy-listening ending to the album.
Overall, the six tracks on Neuroceptor’s Reuptake blend electronic and instrumental sounds to create a well-balanced, smoothly flowing album. Each song is both easy to listen and dance to, while there are certain nuanced points that may require a couple listens to fully appreciate. You can listen to more of Neuroceptor here, and they will next be playing live on September 20.
Key Tracks: Anura, Estuary Path, Giant Earth Shattering