FEATURED ARTIST *Online Tropics* - soft limits EP REVIEW


 

Online Tropics - soft limits EP

Utrecht, Netherlands


Online Tropics is an experimental music producer from Utrecht, The Netherlands. The 'soft limits' EP is the follow up to last years 'happyscanner' which was released on Pedicure Records. This record is about the contrast between organic and artificial elements, like how nature is being pushed back by man, but also how drums interact with synths. It tries to find these limits, to be inspired by them, but also to be scared of them too. This record is, like all Online Tropics productions, build on ambient, experimental beat work, footwork and jungle elements, and world electronic music. The four tracks are hard to box as they cross the lines of many different genres. Experimental electronic music, deconstructed trap, footwork, jungle and ambient are all clear influences on the record.

1. 'beat4' opens the EP in an extremely experimental fashion. Vocal chops, a twee influence and an burst of electronic Eastern bubbles of choppy string synths burst into action.

2. 'meeting of the minds' brings a lower experimental feel in its opening and leans more towards techno house with harmonic synths to add that little sprinkle of experimentalism back into the mix. The absence of vocals in this whole project really allows for you to experience all of the bubbly elements of the mix and to appreciate the true experimentalism found in the compositions of this project. The percussion is somewhat in the background of the mix and offers a sweet shakers to the sound. 3. 'oasis line' is a slow burner which is really psychedelic and futuristic. Several stretched out techno sounds elongate the nature of the track and are accompanied by the sounds of wildlife. This is a really cool interpretation of musical wackiness. very robotic and tiny in sound yet it warps its way around the sounds of nature. The ringing of distorted alarms wake us up along with DJ vocal chops before bringing back the animal sounds. This is well cool. There is a real sense of urgency in the sounds of this composition before concluding to the sound of a march. A quirky and cinematic piece of music. 4. 'bury me with peonies' concludes the EP with heavy distortion through feedback and white noise. Eastern inspired vocal chops/horn chops weave their way in and out of this mix along with an urgency in the knocking of the beat. This is a piece that I envision making its way into a cinematic scene - maybe in the jungle. Suddenly the tempo makes a switch through the main synth which creates an even further sense of urgency before bringing in a tribal drum beat. I could imagine this track as an alternative soundtrack for the original Jumanji film, in the scene when everything just starts to collapse around the kids and the crazed ranger makes an appearance. This track brings an abrupt close to the overall project. A really interesting set of compositions with a quirky, cinematic experimental vibe.