Hush Hush was launched by KEXP DJ Alex Ruder in May of 2012. The young label has really impressed me by its release of some beautiful downtempo compositions, pulling artists like KID SMPL and Placeholder (both of whom you should look into). Their mission statement illustrates a focus on “curating an emotional and introspective sound that's free of specific genre boundaries and ideal for headphone sessions, late-night travels, intimate encounters, and contemplative rides on public transportation.” Secret Angles falls well within the boundaries of such a concept, so it was a logical choice for Hush Hush’s first physical release.
This is the third LP from Seattle’s Johnny Goss and Ola Hungerford, a duo I had little knowledge of before this record. Speaking candidly, I was relatively unimpressed upon first listen. I very much prefer some of the other content I’ve been exposed to from the label, which caused me to place this record aside for a number of weeks. Coming back to it, I can see I may have been too quick to judge, as Secret Angles definitely has some qualities some may find desirable. First of all, the vocals are beautiful, evoking Beach House vibes from start to finish. The production is consistent and interesting to say the least, but a little dry at times. Drums over synth; the makings for a fairly generic sound in comparison to the complex work of other artists of this genre. Minimalist, but enticing.
Although I was less than enthusiastic about it, Secret Angles is surely just a stepping stone, and I’ll definitely being looking out for what Cock & Swan does next.
The first time I saw Slow Magic was in London, waiting around for XXYYXX to start his set. I had gotten there early for the sole reason of getting a good spot in the front, not because I wanted to see the opening act. However the moment the lights dimmed, the movie started playing, and Slow Magic jumped out onto the set with his multicolored flashing mask, I forgot everything about XXYYXX and witnessed one of the best live shows Ive ever seen. However apart from his performances, Slow Magic also makes some solid music. The two best words to describe this music is synthy, and organic. Slow Magic creates futuristic, pop influenced synth melodies, but also grounds it at the same time with tribal sampling and jungle drums. This combination is a welcome break from the generic dream pop of Purity Ring fame. Feel Flows is a good example of this organic synth fusion, while Corvette Cassette lies more on the pop side with a happy uplifting beat. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this album, so pick it up, enjoy and let the magic slowly wash over you.