Friday, 24 February 2012

Vondelpark - nyc stuff and nyc bags ep


This cover is not just a random photo of a dog in a suburban British garden. It's an image of haziness and minimalistic, aesthetical visions of what Vondelparks music must entail. It's either something simplistic or it's on the verge of insanity, profoundness and perplexed musical thoughts. It is infact both of these. Details on Vondelpark are miniature to say the least. I know for a fact that they're a London based three piece signed to R&S Records. This is their second release after 2010's 'Sauna', which began the mystery that surrounds the trio. Pinning a single genre to this band would be idiotic as they clearly span several electronic and rock genres.

Sauna has a lo-fi vibe represented by the 2-step garage beats and Boards of Canada-esque ambiance. It's a very raw first release and some tracks sounded rushed. They released nyc stuff and nyc bags eight months later and what an improvement it is. 'TV' opens with a content synth loop, then enters the soaring guitars with eerie reverb effects plastered on both sides of the speaker. The vocals are rather simple but have been layered to add that extra dose of electronic perfection. The beat is minimal and spreads across the speakers well. The track is incredibly melodic and the general vibe can be described as sunny and relaxed.

'Feat B' is very smooth on the ear. It opens with the same guitar sound which is withdrawn. Obscured synth lines then follow on either side of the speaker before the beat enters. The beat isn't spectacular, but it does have some nice breaks towards the end. The keyboard sounds are hazy and the vocal harmonies are mysterious and mellow. This track borders R&B, making comparisons to The Weeknd, especially on this track.

Sigur Ros-esque sounds are heard at the begging of 'Camel'. This track received a deserved amount of attention on the blogs. The vocals enter and sound otherworldly. The beat is simplistic like the previous but it's not the focus, the focus is on the atmosphere and the spontantious guitar twinges that you hear on the left side every nine or so seconds. I feel relaxed just listening to this track, it's the standout on this EP and so far, the best Vondelpark track.

Vondelpark is like a romantic James Blake for the wine appreciators. They have sparse instrumentals which sound like a stripped back The Weeknd. 'Hipbone' is again very minimalistic and the soulful vocals add to the mood. It isn't quite ambient, but it's not far from Jon Hopkins 'Opalescent'. The final track is quite simply 'Outro for nyc'. It's a little under two minutes long and shows great looping and vivid synthesizer atmospheres. it creates a misty image which can be interpreted differently. I imagine a late summers day with the barbecue just cooling off, listening to Autechre. Then I imagine a cool winters night in London, listening to James Blake. This twenty minute EP isn't just a pre-release to claim hype for 2012's debut album, it's something different. Vondelpark are something different.
~Eddie

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