The debut EP from Boston artist WORLD CUP lives up to the exoticism and sophistication of the splendid sporting event now being watching in bars and laundromats across the globe. But careful—-the resolution on this transmission is low. Hey, was that a handball, or are you just happy to see me?
According to the futbalista himself, these 7 instrumentals were recorded by way of what he humbly declares as nothing more than a Korg DS-8 and a couple cheap Yamaha synths. That might be plebian gear to some, but the results are pretty phenomenal for the mid-fi electronica experience. “Commander Island” sounds like someone trying to recreate the vibe and sound of Stereolab’s 1997 LP Dots and Loops with about 10% of the budget (but with equal the gusto). Complete with a 6/8 rhythm, floating chords and a key signature as fleeting as a Netherlands victory, the track manages to approximate faux-jazz as well as Tim Gane and Letitia Sadier did in their heyday. Not to mention the piles of arpeggios which clutter up together and stick like letters typed too fast on an old typewriter. “Total Chips” will also hook some listeners with a distinct chiptune vibe that will transports gamers with a verse built of many scrumptious keyboard layers (pulsing chords, modulated gliss, portamento bass, the old rhythm machine, etc) and a full on chorus of Sonic adventure-land, contemplative NES smoothness. Need a hit to dial you right in? Go for “Moton Labe” which throttles you gently with a motorik pulse, pads of springy bongo sounds and a great buzzing lead. You can almost hear some titan-voiced siren belting out a stiff melody over this one.
Dividing the tracks between more straightforward songs and more ambient link tracks (the latter oscillating between filtered/white-flavored ruminations and more straight up Pet Sounds-tinged plucked bass/percussion joints), World Cup does a nice job of programming a nice variety of sounds to keep the ear refreshed in the instrumental context. When it comes to instrumental grooves, vive la difference.
Available on cassette or digitally this week via Driftless Recordings,