Californian synthmaster resurrects retrofuturistic psychedelia and puts a contemporary spin on crepuscular tunes.
July 2020 saw Will Carney, also known as TectonicBeats, run through a celebratory schedule of bi-weekly digital releases which, within the month, congealed into a hard-copy mini-album that, in its turn, created a fresh context for the three songs in question. Created in a Covid-related exile in Arizona and voiced by Australian warbler Brooklnn, these pieces hark back to the classic era of dance ’45s where B-sides were instrumental versions of what A-side housed, so there’s no need for the American artist to sell his riddims online anymore – instead, there’s a need for his tunes to be heard, fleshed-out and otherwise.
Vocals taking aural space by force on the EP’s title track, its punchy electronica doesn’t hurry to impress the listener or drive them under a glitter ball until the cut’s soulful chorus ruffles one psyche to expose the arrangement’s nuances, letting seductively supple, if insistent, bass to the fore once the words are gone. And though the triumphant pop of “Rosemary” seems slightly patinated, the piece’s deliberate bleakness is balanced with the retro sound’s warmth, while the ever-shifting melodic lines render “Exemplar” a mindboggling experience. So the shuffling of feet might be optional here, but deriving guilty pleasure from this hat-trick feels mandatory.