Normally we baulk at albums which are described as ‘a cinematic journey through a fantasy world of music, both familiar and unreal, and as perfectly suited to bedroom dreamers as it is to nightclub dancers’, but we were in a generous mood that night.
Although we were fuzzy from warm low cost booze, the evening had all the hallmarks of being another washed out mid-week waste of time, a summer blank loaded with tunes from spiky haired frizzoids who looked like refugees from the first world war and played like they were under water. The sense of loss was skull crushing until ‘Things That Fade‘ arrived, wrapped in the benefit of having no expectations we were aware of.
Its creators, Greeen Linez, sported one of the worst performance names in forever, revealing themselves as a collaboration between Matt Lyne (huh?) and Chris Greenberg (why, from Hong Kong In The 60’s, silly). Allowing the former a little more respect, he’s co-founder of the Disktopia label, but avid fans of said are in for a surprise, as instead of the economic techno of Mau’lin, or even his alter ego A Taut Line, after this they’re likely to be ticking the box marked ‘Intrigued’.
This is because ‘Things That Fade’ does in fact do pretty much what its fanciful press release says; forget chillwave and its lo-fi aping of the sounds of eighties, this is the real thing, a mixture of yacht funk, pastel flavoured ambience and Miami Vice fuck tunes that grooooves on Quincy Jones and George Benson like strip moustache lotharios.
Intended as a travelogue from one cocktail umbrella’d lounge full of beautiful people to another, its Moscow-Paris-New York-Monaco vibe is both for the sceptic and the converted. A manifesto for each track has been helpfully created; in the case of the lounge bar dynamics of Hibiscus Pacific for example, they read things like, ‘A vision of island paradise, yacht party cocktails under the stars and a tropical dream cruise into eternity’. No, we are not making this shit up.
There are occasions where the palm trees don’t slide to reveal a soul-glo diva, such as on the more introspective piano-in-the-dark of opener ‘March 12 St.‘, or the less wistful ‘Frisk”, but mostly Lyne and Greenberg have created something almost unique, a pastiche which actually lives side by side with it’s host in a world of total authenticity.
None of this quite explains why ‘Cubic Mentality‘ then goes on to rip off acid house so ludicrously – doubtless leaving it’s silk tied normal trade looking bewildered – but for all its incongruity, it’s shot in the arm fun. House of a different kind (Zdar and De Crecy it says here) informs ‘Fantasy Glide‘, but it’s easier shorthand just to say that anyone with the slightest love for Metro Area will be familiar with the cantina aesthetics and shiny Manhattan puff.
Whilst the sleeve notes with a difference continue babbling on like a press release from the Tyrell Corporation’s LA office, the duo continue to mine a vaguely spliffy course through the fattest synth bass heavens known to man. A little glassy eyed they may be on ‘Forgotten Shores‘, but on closer ‘Lift Off‘ they hit a seam which will take anyone of an age back to Metro Dade county, Ferr-Arr-Ees and chinos, freewheeling marimbas and no regrets all round.
It’s a set of DX-7 motifs which some would say doesn’t deserve to be resurrected, but the cat’s out of the bag across a thousand laptops in every town anyway, so it might as well be done right after all; in the vernacular of their anonymous PR, ‘Things That Fade’ doesn’t reproduce its aesthetic, it is its own aesthetic.
It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.