Caffeine Eulogy is proof positive that a catchy cover and an appealing sound will draw our attention even when the release is short. As a coffee drinker, I was instantly drawn to Simon de Beer‘s EP, and as de Beer was over-caffeinated when he wrote it, I’ve done the same before reviewing it. (Today’s choice: Vietnamese iced coffee.) Is that a picture of our heads on the cover? Too many cups, and that’s how it feels; no wonder the fuzzhead has picked up a cigarette (which we don’t recommend).
“Craft” is the perfect driving-fast-in-summer anthem. The track begins with a creaking door, the start of the as-yet uncaffeinated day. A creeping drama begins to seep in like the first tendrils of reaction to the morning joe. Piano and chopped female vocals lead the way to a soft whoosh before the two-minute mark produces the suggestion of a trot. Do horses drink caffeine? Likely a bad idea. Then male vocals, handclaps, the beat, the sense of a ticking clock, and we’re on the road, racing to work, and did this only take three minutes? Wow that coffee was strong. There’s a slight slowdown (traffic light?) and then the piece takes off again. Both feet are tapping, and neither is on the brake.
“Shifting” begins in similar fashion, with creaking floorboards and a thoughtful piano melody. The tumble to rhythm is rapid, the tempo swift as double time notes play atop the initial architecture. Call this one the cappuccino. Rounding out the EP, the title track pulses at the start like a rapid heartbeat, but is actually the most sedate of the three tracks. Not decaffeinated by any stretch, but perhaps a bit more like tea. There’s a hidden trick to the track in that almost all of the sounds are made with the mouth, even the percussion. The only exception: a hint of synth and cello.
de Beer writes that the EP is intended less as a “goodbye” to caffeine as a “thank you” for the energy and inspiration. We can relate! While you’re on the Soundcloud page, scroll down to hear even more tasty music, some with vocals, some without, even some soundtrack work (“The Walk,” “Fire”). Our favorites: the percussive yet decaffeinated “truth,” “i’m gone” and “machinery,” plus techno tracks “Verdure” and “Movement.” We sense an album on the way! (Richard Allen)