San Franciscan music-makers Marshall Watson and Cole Odin team-up for a terrific E.P. on Joe Morris’ Shades Of Sound. The Qrates crowd-funded 12 contains 4 mixes of cracking cut called Just A Daydream Away.
The opening Rocket Ride rub has anthem ambition. Taking off to the rhythm of disco handicaps and a chunky 4 / 4. Fusing fragile, ethereal, Spacemen 3 / Sonic Boom / shoegaze vocals, and glimpses of indie-rock guitar, with buoyant low Ph bleeps, it’s a flashback to the early 1990s ecstasy-enhanced cross-pollination of genres. The Paris Angels partying with Braniak’s If? Creation Records crazy, pre-Oasis, “always got a line for the ladies”, heyday.
The Spaceflight shot then loops up a strummed snippet, partners that with some picking, so that you’ve got this sort of skipping, surefire summer hit. Without resorting to a breakdown, it somehow manages to build and build. Quickly convincing even the initially jaded on its smile-inducing mission. Capturing feelings of both nostalgia and optimism that must surely be shared by many 40-something / 50-something bruised-but-not-beaten-by-the-COVID-crisis committed ravers. It completely shook off my cynical shackles on a rainy, Monday morning school run.
Hardway Bros, who are on a roll right now, boost the bass, on a lower key, less pop, more underground, remix. The b-line propelling, punching a mid-tempo tribal stomp. Its pummeling pulse / phenomenal throb, showered by shimmering, shimmying, 6-string figures, like `60s psychedelia meets acid house. In contrast Joe’s Beach Breaks version sets pretty cascading chimes to shuffling live-sounding snares. Trippy fractal frequencies flirting with this broken breakbeat to fashion some (almost) chillout gear. In my opinion, it’s the best thing that the Shades Of Sound el supremo has produced to date.
Digitally, there’s the Hardway Bros bonus Daydream In Dub, which drops the BPMs to a heavy, squelchy thud. Like an old Skunk Records b-side, drum circle congas conjure images of prog-house grounation. The Deja Vu crew on way too much weed. Sucking you in with subliminal detail. Everything reduced to an echoed suggestion. Chopping in additional percussion like Weatherall used to on E.
Marshall Watson and Cole Odin’s Just A Daydream Away can be pre-ordered, digitally, from Shades Of Sound. Vinyl pre-order is available through Qrates.