Justin Peroff, drummer for Broken Social Scene, dives back in for a second slice of retrospective music, hip-hop influenced and eclectic in taste, under his alias Junior Pande. Full of playful mixing, the music is flavoured with yummy beats and lush synths that’ll have you drooling.
Tape Two plays out like one of those cherished, old-school mixtapes we fell in love with all those years ago, so much so that it became essential to the cassette tape’s musical culture and origin; the uneven quality of the tape circling around the reels gave the music a distinct, much adored flavour that still holds sway. Tape Two has similar vibes, thanks to the youthful (and so far pretty amazing) Spring Break Tapes, with exhilarating loops of love acting as the effervescent icing on top.
A shiny, delicious land of phosphorescent synths cascade outwards as soon as the music starts to play. Turbo-charged beats that could have been pulled from the neon-bright arcades of the nineties fill the air and wrap themselves around like a spiraling, red and white stripe on a candy cane. Dated electronic melodies blip and pow their way through, revealing Peroff’s adoration for early electronic music and an affectionate touch for the 8-bit Amiga era. Fizzling synths and powdered breaks that explode in a fluffy, pink cloud are sprinkled with classic hip hop styled rhythms, established 1990.
Full of crushing, boombox beats that refresh and rejuvenate, the music pops lightly like the fizzing kick of sugar, sprinkled with a foamy ocean surf coated in cyan. Remember that candy bar that crackled on the tongue? Tape Two feels a lot like that, including the sweet aftertaste. Decades may have come and gone, but the love for all things retro can live eternally in vogue; despite the dated feel, the music on Tape Two sounds amazingly fresh and crisp, fizzing like sweet candy.
Cruising melodies are doodled over the beats like graffiti sprayed in red liquorice. “Side A” is the livelier of the two, in both the mixing, the kicking rhythms and the loops that remain stuck in the mind; they’re so good together they could be soul mates. Slightly psychedelic, the music sways in and out of the shade, alternately warm and cool; the result is music that’s pretty dope without being dopey. Casual rhythms trickle down like a once refrigerated can of cherry cola left in the sun.
On the flip side, the beats explode like a bruised pinata, ejecting a rainbow of candy as it takes a hit from a baseball bat. Deeper synths stream through, and it’s clear that Peroff is having a lot of fun. Like, a lot of fun. These likeable rhythms are on vacation, on an island and out of reach; there’s enough of a hip-hop element to link them to their original, urban life, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be coming home anytime soon.
Tape Two will take you on a reversed ride, returning to those youthful days that remain coated in a sweet drizzle of nostalgia. Slide the tape in and enjoy. (James Catchpole)