Sat tantalizingly on pre-order atop the 1080p Bandcamp for what seemed like months, everything about this release was pointing in the direction of it being pretty sweet: Vancouver, ‘acid tinged arpeggios’, ‘hypnogogic synths’, ‘Journeymann Trax’, ‘Smoke Tape’. Yeh. Cool – this should be good.
Bobby Draino’s ‘Smoke Tape’ delivers on all these counts and more. Channelling Mr Fingers Trax atmosphere through samples of harps and early ’90s R&B hits, Draino extracts meditative house and techno journeys from his machines.
Delving deep into decades old subconscious memory banks, ‘Smoke Tape’ is as evocative as it is nostalgic – tweaking the amygdala not just through the producer’s choice of hardware but samples too.
To bolster his cause, Draino permits a single use of the loon bird call within ‘Dengue’. A solus stamping of this persistent sample giving subtle nod to the past, an ode to electronic music history on both sides of the Atlantic – a unique thread of musical DNA that’s criss-crossed decades and numerous genres.
This is not just a raw hardware excursion – plenty of detail is employed to add texture and depth such as the varying hi-hat tempos within ‘Arboreal Harp Jam’ mimicking cicadas, the delay effect percussion on ‘Black Forest’, the city rumbling of a train on ‘Jade Tour’ and the bristling distortion of ‘Ice Sheets’.
With additional production from 1080p label mates Khotin and D. Tiffany, the ‘Smoke Tape’ sound is as much that of floating across a late night city landscape as it is a sun dappled walk through a rain forest. It’s no easy feat to serve up these sounds in new contexts but Draino and the 1080p team deliver perfectly here.
Smoke Tape is out now on 1080p, order a cassette version from 1080p Bandcamp.
1. Jade Tour (ft. D. Tiffany)
2. Arboreal Harp Jam (ft. Khotin)
4. Canopy (ft. D. Tiffany)
5. Black Forest
7. Ice Sheets