A day at a waterfall somewhere in Asia.
Jumpsuit Records have some talented musicians on their label and often the music they release fits into the chillax electronica scene. Equanimous & nok nok collaborate together on ‘Cloud Waves’. It is a title that describes the feeling and the vibe of the five tracks exceptionally well. This is a place to slow down and unwind.
Opening with the driving ‘Wings’, light fluffy vocal snippets are enveloped with breezy synths and keyboard layers. Over time a chugging drum track joins in the party but the whole track evokes a serene drive forward. It is possibly the track you’d most likely find playing in the background of a trendy bar (if any were open during this pandemic). ‘Indigo Dreamer’ shifts focus from vocal notes to bending guitar-like synths. The sound reminds me of Hawaii and its surrounded by Asian woodwind instruments. It feels like this track could be anywhere and everywhere all at the same time and its laid back beat is perfect for evoking beach memories.
‘A Train Called Rosie’ moves towards the dancefloor with the most direct electronica piece on the EP. Driving beats and basslines throb behind high octave piano motifs. There is something very 2002 about it all and it really reminds me of platform-based game soundtracks of that era. Part cheesy spiritual uplift, part gentle dance, all fun. ‘Steady Love’ brings in Kayla Diana to guest on vocals on my favourite track from the EP. This track channels people like ‘Wildlight’ and ‘Ayla Nereo’ where spiritual pop, world music and electronica collide. The beautiful electronic piano and koto arrangements flow and glisten. The vocals add to things rather than feel roped in and in an interesting twist are just as much the bass end of the noise rather than the light and fluffy upper end. ‘Mandala’ closes the EP out with a return to the East with some excellent woodwind and chopped up sitar samples that slide between feeling like a guided meditation and a deep slow groove with ease.
World music that feels inspirational in tone is a difficult one to get right. We’ve become so cynical because of companies beating us to death with their corporate happy-happy, it takes a lot to stand out and feel worthy in this competitive genre. Equanimous & nok nok do just that with a complex layer of sounds and samples that feel genuine and full of abundance. It’s a nice way to lighten the load at the end of the day.