Something curious seems to be happening in Southampton.
Since the emergence of Gang Colours, the city's electronic scene seems to be tinged with a rare energy. Questions are being asked and possibilities explored, with a new batch of artists seemingly ready to match electronic tapestries to an organic, often soulful feel.
Tropics is a case in point. Real name Chris Ward, the producer matches a light, jazz infused style with a fondness for glitchy laptop quirks - a mixture which earned him a partnership with electronic powerhouse Planet Mu.
Shifting, evolving, moving into new directions Tropics is now at home on Five Easy Pieces. New EP 'Home & Consonance' will be released on April 22nd, and the material has an introspective, moonlight quality that recalls some of Jamie Lidell's earlier, less outlandish moments.
Here's a quote from Chris Ward to explain more: “I like to think of Home & Consonance as a collection of songs evoking the compatibility of harmony and sadness. Lyrically the tracks are about being away from the ones you love, and the confusion of lust and love. It’s emotional and upbeat but also aims to be sordid in parts. I was listening to a lot of jazz and soul music, old and new when I wrote the tracks. I also became interested in making music aimed for listening to late at night. ‘Parodia Flare’, my first album had nostalgic, summer days in mind, whereas this is something for those summer nights, after the sun goes down when the earth under your feet is still hot…”
By way of a preview, ClashMusic have grabbed 'Don't You Know'. Introduced by rippling notes on a Fender Rhodes piano, Tropics allows his voice to come to the fore - purring, romantic yet tinged with doubt, this is literate, emotive stuff. Pop music for those who grew up too soon, perhaps.
Listen to it now.