Over the past few years, I’ve grown a soft spot for what I’d call ‘Hippietronica’. Mixing up new age ambience, folk instruments and pop electronica, there are a couple of artists that mix the potion up in a way that I want to guzzle it down. Heartwurkz is one of those artists. The duo formed of bassist Chris Adams and singer-songwriter Ash Tree bring the different elements together to make electronica-based pop. Think Ayla Nereo going late night clubbing and you are kind of there.
‘Moon’s Eye View’ is a perfect distillation of this merger of music. There’s thick bass lines, layered poppy vocals and riffs from various folk instruments. The percussion is part electronic beat and part rolling Indian tambourine fest. On the flipside ‘Time’ has Europop synths, brass stabs and electronic guitars around its Jamaican vibe beats. ‘Rush In’ is a slick and chilled out club track that fully embraces the disco vibe. What it shows is that Heartwurkz can create and mix different proportions of the folk and world elements into their music and still create superb music.
The EP continues to display Heartwurkz variety with the all but instrumental ‘Move You’. It’s beats and synths are constantly embellished with Native American whistles, vocodered chants as backing arrangements and woodwind samples to fill out the groove. ‘Floating’ then takes Ash’s gentle vocals and soft keyboards for an ambient track. It soon breaks into heavy bass dub sections as if we have ascended and then skydived back down again. It’s quite cinematic and trailer like. The EP closes with ‘Magic Moments’ that encompasses everything that has come before it. The tuned percussion here is turned into a shimmering arpeggiator that drives the fast-paced pop onwards like a circus.
Heartwurkz is the definition of world pop. Taking small pinches of instruments from all around the world and squeezing them into catchy and melodic pop based production works a treat. Add in a splash of spiritualism and ancient soundscapes and you have a moreish concoction. ‘A Twinkle In Time’ is a superb place to start too. Enjoyable.
Recommended track: Moon’s Eye View
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