Bringing out the right flavors for “world music” is often times a daunting task; finding the proper timbres, creating an atmosphere of realism, and injecting the perfect porridge of nostalgia takes a musical mind that’s ready to put down tropes and typical schemas in favor of unbridled sonic exploration. Waterchild and Space Cadet bring to the table an atypical, yet absolutely archetypal bevy of rhythms, grooves, chops, cuts, and pulsating bass lines through their newest collaborative EP, Premonitions.
Following up their 2016 release, Impressions, their most recent creation is a modal, global souffle of indigenous percussion mingled with dungeon-ready synthesis, emotionally intelligent melodies layered on top of and behind a soup of auditory glitches and intentional missteps.
“Choice is the act of hesitation we make before making a decision. It is a mental wobbling.” So aptly named, Mental Wobble starts off the EP with a delicious groove smoothie, combining a balanced, steady rhythm with a-rhythmic subtleties and fluttering movements of top layer synthesis that can do no more or less than bring a comfortable smile to the listener’s face.
Oshun takes us on a journey towards the musicality of the far east, eschewing 3rds and 4ths in musical scales and fleshing out the beautiful interplay of Hirojoshi-esque note architecture. The bass never takes the spotlight, instead opting to play the role of a veritable cushion for the lighter, airy frequencies, giving the track a full base and flavour that fills up every part of the audible spectrum.
The final track on the EP is without question the most eclectic, and is incredibly specific in its intention while remaining absolutely non-specific in its direction. Akashi is an ambient adventure, filled with drips, clicks, plops, scrapes, oscillations, and scale interplay. There is a constant, but gradual ebb and flow, rising and building with a palpable tension, only to then dive farther down a mysterious rabbit hole. Beneath an omnipresent ascending and descending melody, choice flares of synthesizers and bubbly textures ooze to the surface, culminating in an satisfying, system-wide mainframe shutdown to close out this incredible journey.
Musicians; Producers; Auditory shamans. Waterchild and Space Cadet display a deeply educated understanding of the tools at their disposal, their own musical minds, and how to juxtapose those assets against each other to craft something beyond a typical product; Something that breathes on its own without any need for reference or perspective. You needn’t become acquainted with anything other than your own ears to enjoy the pallet of tones presented on the Premonitions EP. In fact, after just a single listen through this release, you might feel inclined to jump headfirst into the rest of these musicians’ incredible catalogs.