Schmoop just dropped one of the most scalding hot heaters heard this year. “Charge” is a straightforward three-minute build-drop composition with sound design from a higher dimension that hits like a ton of bricks. Who is Schmoop? He’s a producer from urban Texas and one half of Wonky Llama, the popular and somewhat enigmatic side project of Jade Cicada. Most of the mystery surrounding this project came from the relative anonymity of its second half. Speculate no more, because with this track - and a second tune “Get Back” dropping this Saturday - Schmoop is stepping out in a big way.
Although it’s just one song, five to ten listens today might be justified - it’s that good. “Charge” opens with a brief moment of atmospheric sound. Then the beat drops and the listener, invaded by a mix of fright and amazement, scrambles for his or her seatbelt like they just saw four cop cars. The same charged sound design that makes Wonky Llama music so attractive is refined and dialed in even further here. The bar is raised as thick kicks and snares fall into a gravely, groaning, deep, and just disgusting pit of synthesis.
Until today, five songs existed under the Schmoop name; four on the innovative Wonky Llama EP Noms, and one self-released digital ballad called “Sleep Moments”. This cut feigns simplicity with with its lack of bravado, but a deep listen pointed to an abiding knack for provocative songwriting. This available material hits on the same “video game” sound that Jade Cicada, Smigonaut and few others push forward. Perhaps all electronic music could be cast as a video game soundtrack to some. But the discerning ear will hear in music from these cats noises tuned as to gesture towards sound effects and jingles from millennial childhood classics like Zelda. That sound is absent, though, on “Charge”, which is straight gangster business.
Schmoop performed at Co:Creation in Texas last summer and he’s also played some shows in his home state, few enough that you could count on one hand. This Friday he’ll plug in for his first out-of-state set, supporting Jade Cicada & Detox Unit along with Craftal at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver. Then on Saturday, keep your ears perked for "Get Back”. Many producers come out swinging with their debuts. It’s tough to remember one land a knockout blow straight to the jaw like Schmoop.