In his 2006 book ‘Rip it up and start again’, Simon Reynolds uses the history of post-punk to discuss a variety of ideas about culture and the music industry as a whole. One recurring theme is the racial influence or colour of the music being produced, with the ‘whitening’ of certain brands of music being influential in it’s rise and, inevitably, in it’s downfall. Malcolm McClaren, the recently deceased genius/con artist (depending on who’s side you take) was the king of bleaching the world music scene for his own ends.If anyone ever pens a similar ode to these bizarre few years, one of the whitest genres will invariably be the supposed ‘chillwave’ section of electronic music.
Whilst it might be a bit of a vacuous tag, with a name as sickening as the similar sounding ‘glo-fi’ genre, chillwave still has the propensity to sound exciting. The hottest newcomers on the scene are Elite Gymnastics, and their take on Balearic beats feels divorced from the disco scene that it has somehow spawned from. Recently recommended by pitchfork following the giveaway of their debut EP through psychedelic surfclub, the four songs have a feel that,whilst certainly related to the Ernest Green’s Washed Out that has come before it, is eerily more detached, lacking the warmth that got ever blogger ever talking about the bedroom producer. far from being a negative thing, ‘Real Friends’ uses that premise as the basis for it’s sound, utilising mysteriously icy synth samples to create a cavern of sound to get lost within. Whilst far from being the finished product, there are certain signs of undeniable talent throughout – closer Is This On Me? could easily be one of Crystal Castles’ more industrial moments, whilst the title track has the presence of a more withdrawn Xiu Xiu effort. A definite sound of the summer, this duo (possibly – details are sketchy to say the least) should be the soundtrack to many lazy evenings in the following few months.
Elite Gymnastics – Is this on me?
Elite Gymnastics – We Fly High