Fluorescent Records Presents: Summer Vacation Part 1

Fluorescent Records Presents: Summer Vacation
Various Artists
Fluorescent Records

“Four Part Review by Who’s Afraid of Music?

Starting a summer compilation with a song about being locked in a [Coffin] is either highly ironic or, perhaps, my definition of summer is not the compiler’s: “There are some loves that are eternal, that you take to the grave with you, you know?” I’m all about minor progressions but after a few listens I realize that perhaps what I think of as summer isn’t all summer’s made out to be: beaches, bikinis, shirtless men, palm trees, humidity, long drives, and hasty romance. There are those cool, damp nights, dying campfires, broken hearts, and musty clubs at dawn that also entail summer from Palo Alto to the Jersey Shore. Perhaps the first few tracks of this compilation draw inspiration from these things.

[Coffin] by BL▲CK CEILING, Elburz track [Ghosts], VS//YOUTHCLUB’s [10245], and [You, you, you] (which uses a Katy Perry interpolation, however microscopic) by Snakethread open the album with as little sunshine as possible. Deep, pounding bass lines; skittering synthesizer; and hardly any vocals characterize the first thirty minutes of Summer Vacation. All are heavily influenced by witch house as well as ambient music of the most acid-dripped variety. VS//YOUTHCLUB’s track is perhaps the most accessible in this set with easily followed melodic devices and chord progressions straight out of the Europop catalogue.

Sunlight does eventually crack through the clouds with CROSSPARTY’s [ONE SUMMER]: a bridge between these two conflicting worlds. A much more adult Owl City, it does little to really engage other than offer a reprieve. Hauntingly beautiful [Montgomery] by PrettyFaces SplitOpen is a standout in the first quarter of the compilation and perhaps most aptly named [Bummer Summer] showcases the Witch House genre’s form of both ambient, ghostly sounds (buzzing and thunder) as well as a 90s synth-pop hue. Ceremonial Dagger’s track feels like a mid-level boss interlude: there’s a save point, a random merchant for health potions, and a warning to not go any further. It’s a perfect go-between to begin the next arch of music which will take us up through the clouds, but not quite out into the wild blue though we will catch glimpses of it.

~ by vinyabarion on July 13, 2012.

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