Function + Vatican Shadow: Games Have Rules Double LP
Repressed; Gatefold double LP version. Function and Vatican Shadow have combined forces on Games Have Rules for Hospital Productions, simultaneously stripping back each producer's more prevalent production elements -- the dancefloor-focused techno structures of Function; the experimental cassette-roots of Vatican Shadow -- to create an album of dynamic electronic ambient music, equal parts rhythmic and atmospheric. As befitting what began life as an "emotional acid" album best suited for an after-hours home-listening experience, Games Have Rules was created in the early hours at New York's Hospital Productions and Berlin's Inanimate Objects studios, helping imbue the record with a sense of night turning into day, and the shifting contrasts of dark and light the music evokes. Although not created as the result of improvisation, the album retains an effortless, free-flowing structure, while simultaneously introducing the traditional techno drum kit over the course of the record, deconstructing the ever-changing, looming presence of New York City's skyline. Ambient in the most traditional sense, Games Have Rules omits the top-heavy reverb saturation of so many modern releases and builds from the ground up with an arsenal of hi-fi and lo-fi production techniques/equipment with a cinematic sequence over the arc of the record. But whereas New York City has so often been depicted in film as a prison, Games Have Rules is an embracement of the city's endless possibilities: the LP's gatefold black and white image of The Empire State Building lit up at night from the inside; the ongoing stories of rise and decline lived out at its base.