by Mark Anderson
WOLFZiE makes chillwave music. Now, if you’re over 35 and still have no idea what chillwave is, it’s basically electronic pop with a nostalgic, throwback style to the 80s/90s in not only production, but in the sound’s entire presentation as well. (Editors Note: Please understand this is a vast generalization of the genre and for a better understanding, including some great quotes, scope the wiki.)
An ethereal, down-sampled vocal line starts The Memory Department, Pt. with the track, “Melted Thank You”. Classic 808 sounding drum patterns, complete with bicycle chain hi-hat, roll in and the head-bobbing begins. These classic chillwave tropes are repeated throughout the album to great effect, incorporating hiphop and experimental jazz elements within the overall narrative as well.
As part of the TVLiFE Entertainment family, WOLFZiE is also the progammer/ DJ for Militia Joan Hart (whose members include Andy Warpigs, DaDadoh, and Scott Mitting), and although The Memory Department, Pt. 1 doesn’t approach the gothwave stature of that band, there are still plenty of dark synths on this record. “Lion Eyes” is one such track; the slowed down break beat combining with the chords and hi-hats to create a trance-like state.
“10 Daze Off” changes pace a bit, using a guitar riff as the main sample, sustained chords with sound effects rounding out the sonic space. My favorite track on the album, “How Humble”, features a guest spot by MC/DC, a frequent collaborator with the TVLiFE crew. For me, the track defines undergound hiphop: avant-garde and poetic.
“PDX” closes out the album, leaving me slightly unnerved. The combination of ride-fueled jazz pattern beat, ominous bass tone, and audio samples launch me into a contemplative space – and then – the chords dissolve away like some wicked witch and I’m left with a message to turn the record over.
That’s right, originally planned as a full length album, WOLFZiE opted to release this collection as the first of 2 EPs at The Rogue Bar on Oct. 28 and then digitally on Halloween.
Stay tuned for Part 2…
For more info check out his Facebook page.