When a producer whose previous credits include several releases on the Back To The Balearics and Is It Balearic? Recordings labels describes his next one as “the most Balearic record” he’s ever made, you pretty much know what to expect. The record in question is Max Essa‘s Hell Yeah Recordings debut, Themes From The Hood, The Cad, & The Lovely, and safe to say, it lives up to his declaration. Resembling the Tokyo-based producer’s first release in well over a year, the title track is a four-part, beatless arrangement of yearning strings, new age pads and mellifluous piano, and with some jaunty accordion thrown in for good measure, the EP closer treads a similarly gentle path. Sandwiched in between, however, is something built on sturdier foundations.
The musical equivalent of the wall of warm Mediterranean air that hits you upon disembarking the airplane, ‘Saguaro’ pairs balmy atmospheres with a low-slung, rubberised bassline, taught snares and woodblock percussion. Built around a radiant but repetitive synth motif, the melody’s key and tone shift with the momentum of the track, exuding a playful exuberance throughout. In short, the sort of thing you want soundtracking a cruise around your personal archipelago.
Max Essa’s Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely EP is out June – pre-order direct from the label.