Friday, November 11, 2016

Vince Kaichan - Midsummer Days EP

New for your Friday consumption comes a jazzy, chiptune masterpiece from California's Vince Kaichan, called Midsummer Days. Its six tracks are all stunning examples of dynamic, flowing, mid-tempo jazz. Centered in a chiptune environment, it is a delightful depiction of a laidback, virtual reality video game; it's fluid and never ending, yet never boring. It can be yours now, for free on Bandcamp. Vince Kaichan's framing of each track with strong, distinct, identities and imbuing them with traveling, playful jazz rhythms makes for an incredible ride through Midsummer Days. Each track plays a role, placing the listener in a dazzling artificial landscape. The EP succeeds with its rich delivery of overwhelming nostalgia repackaged through jazzy manouvers, able capture our subconscious.

"Shangri-La Dreaming" begins the theme of reverie, painting a peaceful picture of a most heavenly waiting room; a loading screen you don't mind for a change. It's also our first insight into Vince Kaichan's fluid feel for not only combining multiple instruments, but playing them so wonderfully, laying down brilliant solos. The pan flute in this first track is the pièce de résistance, yet only a tease of the beautiful instruments and melodies yo to come. "Mirage" washes over you like a haze. More upbeat, it sweeps along with marching percussion and evaporating solos, dissipating into the hot air.

"Cruising Deep Pacifica" is my favourite of the bunch with its awesome MIDI bass, sparkling star guitar work and twisting, dreamy synth background. The combination of each soloing instrument and backing melody is breathtakingly beautiful, working together in such sonorous harmony. "Sunshower Meteorite" perfectly depicts the depth of space, with its seemingly barren, dark recesses. The brilliance of this track is however the piano work that lifts and lightens our soul, defiantly shining through the dark bass.

"Harvest Moon" really takes the weightless feeling to a higher level, so much so, that each bouncing melody sends you vaulting, dozens of feet into the sky. It leaves you with an overwhelming feeling peace and ease of mind. This transitions perfectly into the last track, "Hopscotch '97" which really drives home the ethos of the computer produced, pop jazz EP. It's fun, funky, and full of radiant joy. It may be the perfect track for surfing the internet, feeling unfamiliarly like a sea-based Mario or Mario Kart level. If you're still reading this, I'll let you in on a little secret, if you download the Deskpop backed EP from Bandcamp, you'll receive a bonus track, "Ice Tea Lemonade." Like the drink, Arnold Palmer, it is tremendously tasteful and easy to consume.