SofaTramp is in the Zone on New Album Wax On
Deep into 2020, electronic music—real electronic music, that devoid of recorded vocals, which functions as a collection of instrumentals and might serenade you at a bar, a coffee shop, or perhaps at those discos that once dominated the larger part of Europe—is alive and kicking.
One listen to Wax On, the latest album by keyboardist and artist SofaTramp that was produced by Dean Moston, readily demonstrates this fact and the dictates, perhaps, of where this genre’s heading. And, if the inchoate recording on this effort, “Get Yourself Together”, is any indicator, it’s going where it should.
“Together” is one of the rare electronic instrumentals that is nearly ripe for rapping over. All that’s required is to ease back on some of the superfluous synth work to make room for rhymes. Everything else, however, is already in place. Dude makes use of almost the full range of 808 sounds on this piece, involving not only the ubiquitous kick and snare but high hats, cowbells, and the whole ensemble.
Plus his kick is thumping over a bass line grooving so hard, so deliberately, you almost don’t notice it with the swirling keyboards and sumptuous chord progressions. The drums and percussion—the latter of which is particularly prominent—anchors things while the electronica takes over, expanding and evoking images, colors, and even stripes.
Interestingly enough, the cut clocks in at little over two minutes. Three of the other numbers supersede five minutes—“M.O.T.U. (’20 Mix)” almost gets there—including “Subroutine” which, although not as extensively as “Together”, also makes use of a healthy dose of 808s. Again, the bass line provides the track with its overall direction, likely empowered by a sub bass (as the title suggests). SofaTramp establishes a groove with the low end but then plays with it, spicing things up suitably in the process.
Several of the tracks make use of vocal samples, some of just a word or phrase, others of people talking. To that end, “Breakfast in Ikea” serves as a discourse for the myriad varieties of, well, breakfast food. However, it’s accompanied by multiple bass lines, including a predominant circular one, and various synths dotting and stamping the sonic landscape.
With this body of work now behind him, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for SofaTramp.