If like me you have found yourself addicted to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, you’ll likely need some warming up after all of the action out on the snow and ice. These three releases fall under the electronic music banner – the genre that takes pride in its adrenaline and power – but they share a sun-kissed warmth that defies the cooler ice cube of a beat. Their slightly eclectic tendencies ensure that there’s plenty of variation, and they all get high points for style. Just as we wait for a new season to emerge, so too does the music see itself shift. Frozen in the depths of winter, it can be hard to think of a time not too distant when the sunscreen came out.
Combined, the three reach a total of 45 minutes. This isn’t much, but they score higher than the American ice hockey team with what they pack into their music. The electronic beats are suddenly liberated, and sunlight rains down on the melodies, livening them up. Cloudy soundscapes disappear when the longer hours of daylight introduce themselves. Check out the three below for some icy sunshine.
aitänna77 ~ Blurred Pictures
Blurred Pictures is short but sweet, as fun to listen to as the bobsleigh is to watch. Chillwave prides itself on its ‘fresh’ status, and the music is so fresh it could’ve descended straight from the tip of the mountain. Pristine atmospheres and clinking beats reside high in the treble, though they could really be trapped air bubbles popping on impact. There is something deeper, though. Underlying emotions spend time reminiscing over distant love, in a once-thriving precinct of happiness that has now been left as a ruin. A snapshot of a once-cherished moment, perhaps, but a photograph that, in the end, turned out hazy after it was developed; smeared smiles and a touch of glare against the background of a falling snowflake. A touch of regret lays softly upon the music like a lover’s last glance; the final fingerprint, left to gather dust against the silky skin of the vinyl. A precious beauty exists solely because of the thin moment, the one that is over so, so quickly. That kiss you wish you could live over again and again and again. And the fleeting nature of time is brought into sharp focus by the record’s length – three tracks, nine minutes. But there is still plenty of time for light dream-pop textures to pop and crackle against the drum, spraying up like a cool swoosh of snow. As the saying goes, a picture really does tell a thousand words.
Junior Pande ~ The Red Tape
Junior Pande (Justin Peroff) has tagged our site here before at A Closer Listen with his infectious beats, spray-painted hooks and lilting melodies. And he keeps coming up with the goods. The Red Tape is tasty. It’s slightly funkier than his three tape trilogy, tinted by looping saxophones and light lead lines that help to bring some sweet, kind jazz to the party. Spring Break Tapes reaffirm their status as an awesome label that continues to talk the talk as well as walk the walk.
Peroff’s music is an open invitation – not only made available to his listening audience, but to music herself. Every kind of style is welcome in this place. While Coca Cola remind us to ‘open happiness’, Peroff’s music suggests the cap has already come off. Block blastin’ beats that could’ve come straight from the quarter eating arcade machines of the 1980’s come to flaunt their weight, complete with the gentle tinkle of loose change as the coins slip into the slot. Different rhythmic timbres join in, with jungle-styled drums, calypso warm cocktails and soft romantic chinks. At its end, the beats are thick and heavily muffled, as if they had dived deep underwater at the local swimming pool. The Red Tape is eclectic in its sound, peppered with the urban soul of hip hop, twinkling piano fragments and chunky puck-shaped beats.
California’s Rabbit Hole Revelations dishes out some experimental electronica as he reclines in the sunshine. Yes, it took awhile, but at last the sun has come out. The San Francisco based musician breezily introduces some female r’n’b vocals, bouncy synth hooks and low rider rhythms that make for heady instrumentals. Stardust In Human Form sweeps up a wide range of genres and musical influences and bags them together effortlessly, collecting them as if they were Olympic medals. The chord melody playing on the guitar helps to give the music a folk-tinged air, but it soon ices over with frosty, heavier beats.
Rhythms hang tight, repeated over and over as many times as you like, as if the musician were really American hockey player T.J. Oshie, who converted four out of six penalty shots (or game-winning shots) against Russia. He certainly makes the most out of the opportunity. Through half pipes the music twists, guitar melodies sitting comfortably enough against the competition of the harder beats. And only once does the music squeeze past the three minute mark, setting quite a tricky record when it comes to speed. In fact, all three excel in this area. Let the music warm you up; with this kind of quality, they’re sure to keep their high positions. (James Catchpole)