[Planet Mu, 2011]
I never thought I’d enjoy something associated with the chillwave scene as much as this release, especially in 2011. Sure, you can cite Washed Out’s new album as being a prime example of excellent chillwave to come out recently but it didn’t do too much for me. Luckily for me, I’ve been keeping my eye on Chris Ward, the guy behind Tropics, and I can’t say I’ve been disappointed yet.
Ward’s first release, Soft Vision, was a short but worthwhile 3-track EP of dreamy synths and colorful production, spearheaded by its wonderful title track. Mouves finds the young producer experimenting with a full band sound, and it definitely pays off. The title track boasts sunny synths, crisp drums, and beautiful, hazy vocals. And though the bass (guitar) could be louder, the mixing on here is excellent. There’s a nice progression of sound as well, ensuring those listening to the track will be pleased and interested in the track, whether driving on a summer day or dancing in a club.
The remixes are definitely worth a listen as well. The Keep Shelly In Athens Remix takes the sleepy vocals and stretches them out, making them an even more essential part to the track. Falty DL’s remix does the opposite and takes all the little bits and pieces from the original track apart and reformats them into his own slow burning dance club jam. “Celebrate” is the shorter of the two Tropics tracks and shows Ward is still capable of making a great song with his more familiar electronic approach. There’s a sexy and, at times, funky guitar line in the song as well that absolutely makes it all the more alluring.
Considering how both “Mouves” and “Celebrate” are going to be on Parodia Flare, Tropics’ debut full-length coming out in September, I was debating whether or not to review this EP. I’m somewhat worried that the LP won’t live up to my expectations but regardless, what we’ve got is an excellent sampler of what’s to come (and some excellent remixes too). Here’s to hoping that Parodia Flare doesn’t end up being another run of the mill chillwave flop. I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Watch the video for “Mouves” here.
2. Mouves (Keep Shelly In Athens Remix)
3. Mouves (Falty DL Remix)