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October 1, 2014
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Review: Bold beat-maker boldly weds sounds

"Wedding Bells"

Cashmere Cat

Norwegian beat-maker Cashmere Cat has once again succeeded in creating an exceptionally experimental album titled “Wedding Bells,” released Feb. 11 via LuckyMe Records. The four tracks on this EP create a foreign sound, dismissing linearity and embracing the unexpected. Compared to Cashmere’s first EP, “Mirror Maru,” this EP is considerably more daring, each track pulsating with layers of gorgeous samples and synths.

“With Me,” the first track on the album, has sci-fi elements. The mechanical percussive components sound like they are inside of a space shuttle, rattling off tin metal walls. These heavier elements are complemented with soft jingling and sophisticated auto-tuned vocals, equivalent to scattered stars on a vast black canvas. The juxtaposition of these elements allows the track to ascend higher into a galactic world of electro hip-hop.

Beginning with the sound of a ticking clock that soon grows into an intense drumbeat bursting at the seams with kinetic energy, “Rice Rain” takes a sharp left when it slowly descends. Piano riffs, heavily distorted vocals and synthesized water droplets contribute to this effect, resulting in a sound that is pleasantly intricate.

“Pearls” has the most elaborate use of layering, yet no one sound overpowers another. The musical drops are jagged and unanticipated, yet never cease to be engaging. They end cleanly and re-establish themselves strongly throughout the rest of the track.

“Wedding Bells” has evolved outside the contemporary electronic dance music spectrum. Its unpredictability may frustrate some listeners but by no means pushes them away. Instead, it attracts the senses with its complex design. The best part of each song isn’t the beat drop — Cashmere manipulates this necessary part of any electric track and uses it to his advantage, keeping it appealing and mysterious without stepping over the line into boredom.