New Standard, the latest by Texan-turned-Angeleno progressive vaporwave producer (and Stranger Things engineer and composer) Carlos Ramirez aka Auragraph, finds him shifting focus to the dance floor across eight chrome clockworks of cosmic acid house and liquid rave glide. Inspired by lessons learned during a 5,000 mile American road trip tour in the summer 2022, Auragraph set to work in his Simi Valley Tuff Shed of synths and hardware, pursuing an explicitly DJ-friendly muse. “I realized I wanted to make a record where every track could go off in a live setting,” comments Ramirez.
From sleek freeway techno to arcade lurker acid to big room bangers like “666 Ambience,” the tracks time-travel across the canon of club music, sifting tricks and styles to fashion fresh anthems of hypnagogic jack. It’s an album channeled as much as crafted, tapping into the decks of mythic warehouse infinities past and present, where the system rips all night and acid never dies.
A hallucinogenic journey from the sounds of late-80s acid house and late-2000s hypnagogic ‘vapor’ through the lens of 2020s coastal house revival, New Standard is revved and rhythmic, peppered with slap bass, Madchester whistles, filtered acid, gated snares, baggy cowbell, and sample pack classics – record scratches, orchestral stabs, the “Yeah! Woo!” from Lynn Collins “Think (About It).” Mastered and cut for the dancefloor by premier engineer Josh Bonati, Auragraph describes the album process as immediate and instinctual: “I’d turn on the MPC, pick a tempo, and just improv – it was incredibly fun.”