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New i-fls: Fictional Standard

“Dedicated to depressed person” hints at this being a collection of forlorn tracks, maximum mope for those in a rough place. Japanese producer i-fls isn’t that predictable, and his Fictional Standard (released via American label Zoom Lens) is among the most cheery full-lengths he’s created in Garageband to date. Songs such as “2 + 5 (+1)” and “No Art” skip along on twinkly synths that sound more daydreamy than down, and even though it doesn’t sound remotely like what would hear at Ultra, “EDM” comes off like a glowing, personal wonder. i-fls even has fun with what sounds like field-recorded sounds (involved in the recording of this album – a cell phone for such recordings), like on the shuffling “6” which features what sounds like a copy machine in action being integrated into the song as a whole.

Then again, an album that sounds this dreamy…but still intimate enough to come off like personal headspace…screams escape from the drudgery of the everyday. And there are those moments where weird sounds disrupt these otherwise lovely escapes, jarring reminders of something else – like the otherwise absorbing “Tone” featuring scattered electronic sounds scurrying over it, or the otherwise bouncy “I Don’t Care I Don’t Care I Don’t Care” featuring similar digi scrambles. Closing out the album is a remix of a song dabbling in the same emotional territory i-fls always has, Zoom-Lens-co-head Meishi Smile’s “Honey.” It’s a fitting end to Fictional Standard too. Get it here, or listen below.