Sunday, 20 April 2014

STARLIT EVERGLADES – PRETTY ARCADE EP

It was many moons ago, many many moons ago, that I first encountered this particular musicmaker. In fact, I think the last time I wrote about him was back in July 2013. Since then, well – everything has been a whirlwind of uncontrollable speed. It's impossible to keep up with everything all the time. But who cares? Whatever right? RIGHT? So, anyway, this is Starlit Everglades and a long time ago I found his music, wrote about it – in particular his tune 'Mylotic' – enjoyed it. He made a kind of soaring lo-fi dreamscape, a majestic unearthly sound that seemed to gallop through your mind with all the relaxing intensity of a phantom horse.

But now, now now now – now is a different story. Fast forward for um however many months it's been and we arrive here, where Starlit Everglades is releasing a new EP that sounds gloriously different to his earlier stuff. It's quite incredible, the development that's gone on here. Hip hop influences abound, perhaps more trip hop, and the quality is higher than ever – he's clearly improved as a producer and it's really great to hear it. The EP is called Pretty Arcade and it sounds a bit like this (although I think this is just a preview).

It works as a series of three connected tracks. In title, it moves from a 'Pretty Arcade', to asking somebody 'Twirl For Me', and finally the command 'Undress' – as if on a date, the mood becomes one that is hungry for romance, if not outright lustful. In sound, too, it feels as if this is a journey from the realistic, grounded beats of 'Pretty Arcade', with its bubblesome electronics, coin-grabbing samples and recordings of real-life public places (maybe an arcade, and perhaps even a pretty one); through 'Twirl For Me' whose playful romance and dreamy sensuality – in the super-reverbing breathy vocal samples, glistening glockenspiels, tick-tocking almost urgent beat and filmic strings – echo that post-date feeling, if everything has gone well, of walking together, wandering, meandering the streets with no particular inclination or even care as to where you're heading.

And then there's the end: 'Undress'. It's a blanket of hyper nostalgia with an intro of crackles that make it seem as if the hairs on the back of your neck are sticking up, a pre-sexual out-of-body experience, a sense of wonder at what you're beholding – waves of thick synth like rose-tinted visions pulse in time with the heart-thudding catch-your-breath kicks, with breathless vocal samples whispering pleasure into the starry void of the track.

In another sense, these 3 illustrations hide as if under a haze of nostalgic memory, a set of sounds that seem to have encased heady remembrances forever behind their dreamlike mists, as if perhaps they look better – more idealised – through this fog of time and creativity, or as if memories themselves promote this hazy sound thanks to their intoxicating nature. So basically, this is Starlit Everglades, these are his sounds: a surprise EP that will whisk you away to somewhere beautiful, either imagined or real, on a cloud of hushed, lo-fi synth powered by gently intricate yet firm beats.



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