Becoming Real is all about London. Also known as Toby Ridler, the artist’s impressive but entirely personal portrayal of music is gained by a mix from the fringes of dubstep, electronica and chillout, all melded together to create something that’s equal parts addictive and moving. Pure Apparition is the new record, and what the artist manages to do here is create a scenic portrayal of his own personal London for everyone to listen to.
Bleach kicks us off, and it’s the perfect track to build you into the record; chillout mixed with ambience is the name of the game here, and it’s testament to Ridler’s skill that he manages to melt your heart without the need for lyrics. The beats drop and dance around electro sounds of softness and virtue, and really tempt the listener in to the artist’s own personal world. D.A.R.E is a stark contrast to the opener, and probably the track that would be most suited to the dance floor; you can almost imagine the crowds using this track to have a rest bite at 1am, gather their thoughts and allowing them to continue onto the nights end. Old beats top off a mix of the classic and the new here, and really show how skilful Ridler can be when needed.
What’s great about this record is the different atmosphere’s it creates. Tokyo’s gentle bells coax you into a self-obsessed track of innocence and resonation, whereas Rude’s distortion and snaps lead into a more stripped back sound that’s perfectly tailored for the inevitable beats and jumps of essence and wonder. Add on top of this Tibetan Moves’ impressive imagery of mountains and temples without uttering a word, and you really start to see the work Ridler has put into this record.
If Bleach was a good opener, then Main Station Cables is the perfect closer. It feels like London, sounds like London, and is London. You can almost smell the subways and feel the solitude of the night in a track that creates the perfect bring down to finish off the record in a pleasing style.
What Ridler has done here is create his only little slice of London in a twisted and mutated way, and he’s invited you in to share his place of solitude. It’s music that stays with you and will resonate throughout your being, becoming the background to your life whenever you listen. If you’re missing the city, this will remind you what a harsh place it can be, but also why people love it.