Night Safari is the first full-length album in six years from Andrea Mangia, who writes, records and produces under the moniker of Populous. And the new album is something of a return to form for Mangia, as he had spent the past few years in Life and Limb, a project that included New York-based vocalist Michael McGuire.
As Populous, Mangia specializes in a carefully crafted electronica that is based around field recordings from all over the world, samples from lost and obscure albums, African polyrhythms and kraut synths that bear a resemblance to Kraftwerk. “Vu,” which features Clap! Clap! is world-spanning first single, and I think that as soon as you listen to it, the track manages to be several things simultaneously – ambient yet propulsive; strangely familiar yet alien; sleekly modernist yet warmly human.
Pay close attention to the song because although it’s a sonic collage, its component parts fit together so seamlessly that you can’t discern where exactly they came from. Sonically, it’s a marvel to listen to.