Rad Cult, a label ran by the ever infamous Tobacco (of Black Moth Super Rainbow and other musical endeavors), is lucky as all hell –they’re getting to help release one of the sweetest beach-vibe chillout albums in a long time. High Tides is a duo all about their sun-kissed electronic tunes and their debut, self-titled LP is exactly what summer 2015 needed. Packed with some original tracks as well as a few neat remixes, High Tides is an absolutely radical release.
High Tides release is absolutely atmospheric. The entire album will have you trapped in a broken VHS tape recording of some distant beach. For example, “Sunware,” features some fuzzy, echoing synth lines and clean cut electronic melodies. The textures blend and you have this really fantastic effect. It’s like mixing the tacky consumer electronic sensation of ‘vaporwave’ with some really masterfully produced chillout tracks. High Tides with all its ambiance builds a soundscape for you to get lost in –and that’s something special.
High Tides’ debut features some other killer tracks as well. “The Beach Elder,” has quickly become a beloved tune. The song features a poppy bass line, soaring synths, and some underwater vocals. A little this, a little that, and you have a slightly more upbeat yet still very chilled out song to indulge in. Meanwhile, the following track, “Coastal Cruise ’86,” is reminiscent of some classic racing video game. A plethora of textures come forth, a computerized drum line, an intense bass mirroring a main melody, and an occasional shimmering electronic addition to the mix. Once again, High Tides knack for building complex yet very palatable songs stands out. The album is just an outstandingly beautiful trip outside everyday life.
While a few tracks on this self-titled album are remixes, it’s worth noting that they do more than just add a new dimension to the old tune –they transport it to another dimension. Listening to the High Tides take on “Blurring My Day,” is like listening to Black Moth Super Rainbow in the Twilight Zone. The track becomes a hazy dream. Truth be told, having heard the song when it first came out and this remix –I was trapped in a strange and nauseating déjà vu. The effect is interesting at the least. Another fantastic remix is “Eruption,” originally released by Tobacco. High Tides takes the intensity out of Tobacco’s almost punk like electronic jam. The song is all screwed up on tranquilizers –completely sedated. This little spin is everything. The song feels reinvented, sweet as melting ice cream in a hot sun. In short; every song that High Tides reworked has been tweaked to blend in perfectly with their super atmospheric album. It’s a refreshing twist on some old favorites to say the least.
High Tides tore it up with their debut. The entire album is an incredibly atmospheric trip through some fantastic beachy soundscapes. As someone with a taste for that kind of thing, it’s difficult to call the album perfect while maintaining integrity –at the same time, there’s no point in turning anyone away from the album either. High Tides is super cool and a perfect way to inch into the last days of summer.