Tropics TropicsSoft Vision EP
PLANET MU (ZIQ287, 12” + digital)
And so Mike Paradinas’ label fully enters the IDM world influenced by the 80’s and hypnagogia, almost bursting with tears of nostalgia. It was something that was bound to happen sooner or later. If Skam has VHS Head, and Ghostly almost has Com Truise confirmed, a label as decisive on the avant-garde (and bedroom) electronica scene as Planet Mu can’t lag behind in the battle for an answer to the Oneohtrix Point Never buzz. So here’s Chris Ward, 22 years old and obsessed with decades and sounds he couldn’t possibly know firsthand. All of his productions move in slow motion, with a bass drum from an electronic drumkit, like the ones that became popular in the 80’s –those who produce dry beats with non-scattering echoes– and a set of textures oscillating between the vague (the influence of Boards Of Canada, in his case not decisive) and the sparkling. There’s a gentle breeze of slow disco and mainstream pop in Tropics’ pieces that cannot be denied. It’s the deformed reflection of what could have been an Annie Lennox song, for example ( “Give It Up”), with all the variety of relaxing resources of the post Balearic wave (which isn’t fundamental with Tropics, either, yet it does play the starring role on “Melorr”). At his age, Ward is already showing hair-raising potential: “Soft Vision”, the third cut on the vinyl, is of admirable quality, the maximum point of effervescence of that idealisation of the great hi-tech productions of the 80’s, at a speed with suspense and space, packaging the best synthesiser music from before the transformation of kosmische musik into new age of labels like Innovative Communication or Private Music. Dear Sirs of Planet Mu: release more stuff by this boy. Please.