By Alex M.
Relief in Abstract Records
While some people may be singing a dirge for the death of modern music calling it over produced and cursing electronic music, a seventeen year old kid from Orlando Florida is showing a lucky few of us how electronic music can revive this art form.
Marcel Everett, or as he shall be henceforth referred to as XXYYXX, is a seventeen year old producer from Orlando Florida. His chillwave vibe combined with elements of hip-hop and future garage elements gives his music a very unique avant-garde sound. His music consists of long flowing tones accompanied by intricate beats done on a drum machine and vocal samples distorted so much you cannot understand what is being said. His sound the proverbial blue cheese of the music industry because you either love him or hate him, which is probably why he will never gain much mainstream success.
It is risky for an artist to publish a self title album. It says very clearly that this is their sound love it or hate it. On only his second album XXYYXX did just that on only his second album in 2012. The album was produced completely on various computers and then uploaded onto bandcamp.com for sale. Later this album and all of his music were made available free on Band Camp only asking if you like the music to donate however much the music is worth to you.
The album showcases some of this young producer’s best work with flowing songs with ambient tones and beats that one can’t help but bob their head to. Where the real beauty of the album lies is his attention to detail and his composition of the album.
A good songwriter can write a catchy tune that will get stuck in your head, whereas a great songwriter writes a song that gets stuck in your head because every time you listen to it you take something else out of it. The fourth track of this album, “Set it Off,” is a very good example of this, the first time you are mildly overwhelmed by the barrage of cool sounds being synchronized in such a fashion that it creates a really beautiful, but then after that you begin to notice the intricate drum machine changes and synthesizer harmonies that make the song that much more amazing.
The album manages to keep a tone throughout that flows nicely from track to track, rising and following making transitions between songs as close to seamless as you can while still keeping songs contained within themselves. This means that you can appreciate the album on a song by song basis or on a holistic level. My favorite example of this is the transiting between track 1 called “About You” and tack 8 called “Good Enough.” The songs are entirely independent of each other so you don’t need to listen to them both at once but they feel just right following each other.
There are not very many audible lyrics in the album but XXYYXX is so good at producing music that he still can paint very beautiful pictures in your head. The best example of this is in the song “About You.” He paints this very melancholy emotional song that has the ghost of some dark time in the artist’s life and then the first audible words of the album are “say you’ll never let me go” which for anyone who has suffered heartbreak probably can at least mildly empathize with those feelings.
This album is very unique, it is not the type of music you would expect to be on the radio. It is not even the type of music you would want to listen to all the time, but it is perfect late at night or on a rainy day when you are relaxing.
As mentioned before this style of music is not for everyone, but for those who have a palate for such things it is definitely worth checking out. At the welcoming price of free I am not afraid to recommend this to anyone but I do so with fair but heavy warning. This album is different.
Alex M. is a grade 12 student hell bent on expressing his overzealous opinions to any poor soul who will listen.