Wednesday, 15 April 2015

TSHORTS – AQUARIUS FLEX

I found this in my neverending list of things to write about today and I remembered how… unplaceable it is. It's totally experimental and you know from the first computerised vocal drop that you're in for a treat: "Fuck actual music, listen to TSHORTS," it says. Ok, you think, I'll do that for now.

A plaintive synth melody repeats for most of this track with the same feeling as a little fish innocently swimming around a coral reef, imbued with submarine mystery: no thoughts in mind except going about its business. 'Aquarius Flex' isn't all about that cutesy, vacant innocence though. Not at all. Because you've got to take Canadian producer TSHORTS' collage of beats into account: an 808-flavoured series of shimmering rhythm changing hi-hats, pitch-shifted snare rolls and clusters of kicks – I mean, if we keep going with the whole fish-in-the-sea thing, then these beats represent the disordered uniformity of coral structures, a natural and irregular brutalism in miniature.

And there you are, a pair of eyes looking from above, the sea warping your vision, refractions and ripples making it difficult to see – flitting, barely perceived objects dart around: the rapid-fire, frenetic synth chords of 'Aquarius Flex', and the sometimes woozy, half-intoxicated version of the melody that appears sometimes.

The track is also a game of two halves. More like two-thirds and one-third, but there's no epithet for that; soon we burst into a world of robust, truncated bass gently and elastically stretched in pitch sometimes, and following an unpredictable kick pattern, a minimalist seascape far away from the coral colony where the wide ocean beckons and bloops with unknown, unfathomable sights and sounds.




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