I was invited recently to give feedback on the latest comp release from Interchill, one of my favorite labels for choice downtempo. It’s a real winner in my book, so I wanted to share my thoughts here and encourage you to check this out for yourself.
With a comp like this, this is where Interchill and I see eye to eye. Andrew Ross Collins has come up with a treat for the senses, with an ode to the more melodic side of chill and downtempo, while still maintaining an edge with elements of glitch and bold rhythms. The way I felt when I’d finished listening to Waypoint reminds me of the aftermath of listening to Interchill’s comp releases from a decade ago, which is to say feeling thoroughly satisfied with the journey. Due to the way I tend to process music for review and consideration into my permanent library, I hardly ever tend to listen to a release all together in sequence, but this one works quite well for that. A wonderful compilation, assembled in a defining flow that just works.
01. Grouch – Indifference (Hibernation Remix)
My ears lit up with the last collaboration between these two talents (Grouch remixing Kaya Project, another of Seb Taylor’s artist projects) and once again I’m digging the melding of their two sounds. Both artists are laser-precise in their mastery of sound manipulation and design, which ensures that even though there’s a lot going on in the track, it never tips over into a crowded soundscape.
02. Drift – Invisible Spirit
Overtones of bossanova start things off and then are switched up by a glitchier palette. It’s a mixture that doesn’t always blend well together for my tastes, but the track weaves back and forth between the two palettes and eventually the more classical palette wins out, which is a win in my book. (Not that I have anything against the glitchy palette – just that it can be challenging to blend it well with more classic sounds and phrasing)
03. Guru Shishya – Rich in Loss
It’s been many years since a new Guru Shishya track has graced my speakers, and I quite liked the one from 9 years ago, Cagian 3 (also released by Interchill). I’m not sure what this artist has been up to in the ensuing time period, but I’m very happy that a new track is upon us. Beautiful acoustic guitar with whispers of angelic voices singing, and an acoustic drum accompaniment that feels like it would be a treat to see this one performed live. A heart-melter for sure.
04. Gaudi – Solaris Vision
Gaudi is one of the most authentic dub-into-dubstep artists I know, remaining entrenched in the crossover between the genres. His sound design is unparalleled. The genre itself is one I can only listen to small amounts of at a time, as I find it all a little too similar; Gaudi’s composition here, however, creates a soundscape that is hypnotic and delivers through to the end.
05. Kaya Project – Dust Devil (Hibernation Remix)
Seb Taylor has a permanent place at my musical table, let me just get that out of the way. Of all his projects, I started out loving him as Kaya Project and then found Hibernation, the perfect mixture of fresh modern sound design and classical, jazzy tones. So a remix of one by the other was bound to perk up my ears. The rhythm here is hypnotic, the sounds varied, and it all blends together into something quite wonderful.
06. Variant Field – Dulcet Dalliance
Wonderful catchy rhythm and sound design from one of my favorite artists, Amani Friend, with his co-creator Alex DeYoung. I’ve previously only known Amani’s work with Treavor Moontribe as Desert Dwellers, and while there are definitive markers in this track to alert you to Amani’s same sensibilities, there is a devotion to a more cinematic, jazzy spectrum that I find irresistible. It’s the kind of track that sounds at home in either a jazzy/loungy playlist or a more modern one.
07. Another Fine Day – Walk Tall (Throwback Dub)
Wonderful, sultry jazz tones with swirls of psychedelia, perfect for a lazy sunday afternoon.
08. Austero – Fuerza Brutal
Lovely mix of electronic and acoustic elements. The bass line is prominently the backbone of the track, and yet somehow doesn’t manage to oversaturate it. Skilled guitar work by Austero.
09. Fredrik Ohr – In Orbit
I was a fan of Ohr’s early eponymous release and have tracked his evolution ever since. As it is with almost any artist and me, not everything hits the nail on the head, but In Orbit is definitely a keeper in my book. It has a laidback rhythm that is only suggested at throughout the first half of the track, but the musicality and the hints of bleepy accents are enough to carry it through, when the rhythm fully reveals itself and drives it home.
10. Liquid Stranger – Flipside
I love it when Liquid Stranger ventures far into the realm of emotion with his unique brand of soundscape. It rarely disappoints, and this track is a wonderful expression of that emotion. It manages to be spacious and cozy all at the same time. I see Flipside being a trusty companion for those delicious afternoons in the desert.
11. Sinepearl – Cosmic Center
I was deeply touched by the release earlier this year of Cycles Within Cycles Within, as it came to my inbox just as I was learning of the death of a dear friend’s family member. While that release was gorgeous in a more ambient way, this track retains much of that lush sensibility while inhabiting more of a rhythmic space. I have not yet been disappointed by what I’ve heard coming out of his studio.
12. Spiral System – Mondays
I was a fan of last year’s release Be, so I looked forward to hearing this new track, and I was not disappointed. A gentle rhythm that invites swaying with eyes closed, delicate vocals with a touch of psychedelia, and a gorgeous melody welcome you in to the world of this track. Salve for the soul.
13. Alucidnation – Prefer to Stay In
Lush, pastoral ambience with just a hint of beats. The piano lends a delicate narrative. A perfect end to the Waypoint journey.
Waypoint can be reviewed and purchased at the following places:
Or check it out here:
[bandcamp width=400 height=472 album=1537064926 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 artwork=small]