Charting a career for himself under the name Maps, U.K. native James Chapman works in an unorthodox way for someone churning out layered soundscapes and ambient space-rock: he doesn't use computers. Shunning top-of-the-line technology for the 16-track recorder in his Northampton bedroom, Chapman meticulously splices sounds together to achieve the desired depth. The lush "To the Sky" manages to be both mellow and sweeping as the sweet vocals, electro buzzing, and rhythmic drumming organically converge. Maps' debut, We Can Create, arrives June 19 via Mute. BRIANA MOWREY
Talk: Is Maps headed in a good direction, or has he lost his way?