The debut album from Melbourne multi-instrumentalist Fractures (aka Mark Zito) offers up an interesting combination of ambience and electronica, testing the normality of structure and production to provide a diverse range of songs that appeal to a wide audience.

Following on from a quite impressive year, which included supports with Daughter, Birds of Tokyo & Emma Louise, showcasing at BIGSOUND and a collaboration with Sydney EDM powerhouse Set Mo on their release ‘Comfort You’, ‘Still Here’ sees Zito achieve a maturity within his sound, creating a perfect cohesion between the solo artistry & the full band accompaniment to polish each individual track.

From the beginning of the album, ‘Withhold’ provides an energetic taste of what lies within the debut album with a slow build from Zito’s enthralling reverbed vocals paired beautifully with the piano, to the off-beat percussion and topping it off with a surprisingly high energy, full band ending that teases the listener to a near 5-minute summary of what is to come.

‘Lowcast’ provides an insight into the emotional context within Zito’s production, whereby the track takes influence from the likes of James Blake with a perfectly blended harmonised melody that takes you on a journey of self-building within oneself. “Too far for recovery/too far to come back now/too far to complicate” can be related to any hardship we all face within oneself, whereby the listeners can see into the emotive context that lies within the track.

The highlight of the release is ‘Apnea’, an ambient slow burner that gets better as the track goes on. From a sparse beat that is coupled with complimentary electronic piano and reverbed guitar, ‘Apnea’ takes a big turn towards the middle, where the theme of the track becomes distorted and turns into a heavier, rock influence where we are introduced into the higher range of Zito’s vocals which help create a climatic point that brings the track back to its downtempo beginnings.

Overall, ‘Still Here’ is an impressive offering from Fractures. The depth within his tracks and the range of genres within the release highlights that there is plenty more to come from the Melbourne producer.

Rating: ★★★★

‘Still Here’ is available everywhere now through Caroline, and Melbourne fans can catch Fractures this Friday night at ‘Howler’ for the wrap-up of his ‘Still Here Tour’ – more details on that through here

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author: Chris Salce

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