Written by Connor Miller
UNDER THE ILLUSION is Sam Gellaitry’s newest release to date. Being composed of a total of four songs, it's a fairly short listen being a total of thirteen minutes. However, its relatively limited length showcases that quality triumphs over quantity.
Gellaitry’s sound is constantly fluctuating from project to project creating an expansive range that can encapsulate fans of dance music. Most of his tracks are able to target active and passive listeners through the auditory depth he is able to create in his music. Gellaitry provides a punch that grabs the audience's ear while simultaneously providing a cohesive soundscape that blends well with mediums musical interaction such as dancing. Gellaitry’s most popular song currently is a collaboration between him and PinkPantheress, titled “Picture in my mind.” The song highlights both artists’ strengths, but what should not be overlooked is Gellaitry’s power as a singular music creator. Comparing “Picture in my mind” to the rest of Gellaitry’s discography, we see that instrumentally, Gellaitry’s presence is minimized to allow space for PinkPatheress. While this overall benefits the single as a whole, the energy that is created within his solo works is ecstatic, especially within UNDER THE ILLUSION.
The EP begins with an echoing rush of wave sounds which pulses into an extremely bendy synthesizer that pushes the heart of the album-titled track. Gellaitry’s lyrics resonate synonymously with the pulsing transporting the listener into the land of the album itself. The kick drum within the track creates the backbone of the tempo until the sound is cut back into an expansive bridge that pushes forward with a bass that creates further intricacy to the song. The track ends with a tiny snap that initiates a transition into the next track, “ALONE.”
Track two is characterized by a spliced sample of singing which glitches in tempo that when removed during the chorus provides a dynamic shift into Gellaitry’s vocals. Rather than providing musical peaks through a further adding of sounds, Gellaitry does the opposite. Through the utilization of less individual instrumentation during periods of build, Gellaitry creates the distinct peak that enjoyers of dance music need without overly complicating the auditory profile. His selections of samples provide this expansion and contraction, something potentially overlooked when examining electronic music.
Keeping the tempo of “ALONE,” Gellaitry yet again transitions into the next track, “LIKE THIS / LIKE THAT.” Track three is a clear highlight of UNDER THE ILLUSION even with its short track time of a bit under two minutes. The song’s chorus is comprised of a darker vocal tone that thumps in unison to drums in a guttural and expressive way. The counter melody provided is a stringy synth, personified with a “womp” of sorts, that gives way to the percussive elements of the track. Gellaitry ends the EP with “THINK I KNOW,” which truly acts as a scene closer, slowly bringing the listener out of the Gellaitry tiny world that he created. A blip of masterpiece within the dance genre, definitely worth a listen.