Writer: Mai Hiura Henriksen
Last week, a rather spontaneous experiment arose between Esben Andersen aka. Rangleklods, and Reptile Youth’s energetic frontman, Mads D. Kristiansen. No one saw it coming – and what a nice surprise! Together they are Slow Celebration, and they recently debuted with their EP, Worlds, which consists of 6 songs – and they already have a video for the first track, ‘Fun’, which you can see below.
Mads and Esben became friends after frequently meeting each other at festivals, and after a drunk night out, they decided to mix the best of both worlds together. The whole EP only took about a month of their time (!), but its sound does not reflect the short production period at all. Despite this project, they will both continue in their respective musical nests, and as a matter of fact, Reptile Youth will be releasing their second album this March.
The overall theme of the Worlds EP is predominantly youth. In the Slow Celebration project, Esben produces the heavy and dark beats, which characterizes those of Rangleklods, and Mads takes the playful and untamed vocal lead that is reminiscent of his role in Reptile Youth. They complement each other and at the same time make up a dynamic duo, involving Esben’s mysterious coolness and Mads’ carefree juvenility. Mads turns his childishness down a notch despite his voice being more high-pitched than ever, clearly influenced by Esben’s dark universe. The EP reflects the stark contrasts between the two musical personalities, resulting in an energetic electro-synth-pop record.
The opening song, ‘Fun’, is about, well, having fun. Fun introduces you to a universe of heavy but simple electronic beats, radiant melodies and high-pitched vocals. The second song, ‘Light’, has a beat so heavy and synthesizer so daring and wild that it makes you think you’re listening to one of Diplo’s productions (if we leave the vocals out of consideration). If there was a music video to it, a stethoscope would definitely be involved. This particular song seems to be the listeners’ favorite on Soundcloud, and understandably so. It has energy and hope, somewhat similar to MØ.
‘Kids’ is the without a doubt the craziest and most exciting track of them all. Conveniently, it’s track nr. 3, the central song, which is true to Mads and Esben’s ‘drunk night out’ experience. It is the most danceable song on the EP, with room for a little slow dance towards the end. Mads’ vocals sounds like Sleep Party People’s, his voice distorted to the almost unfamiliar. ‘Schizophrenic’ is probably the most suitable adjective here – it’s like watching a bunch of control freaks on cocaine.
‘Neighbours’ starts out with clutter and noises from what sounds like in outer space, which later turns into a bubbly and light melody. As the song develops, you can almost feel the soft warmth from the sun. A smooth, low-key voice finishes the 2-minute short track off, which almost has a healing effect after all the craziness from the previous track.
The 5th track, ‘Slow Celebration’ is probably the most pleasant song besides ‘Neighbours’, powerfully incorporating both Esben and Mads’ strengths, which makes it the song which makes most sense out of the 6 tracks on Worlds. This track is also definitely a personal favorite. They’ve hit the bull’s-eye in my opinion, and the chorus may give goose bumps, due to its intense beats, vocal and tone. Towards the end of the song, they provide a hot detail with a fade-out that fades in again, and then ends.
‘Man of My Own’ is a fine, but slightly dull ending to the EP. It has a haunting X-Files vibe, accompanied with a howling synthesizer and very high-pitched tones. Here, the Rangleklods zeal is transparent, and this song could very well have been on his Beekeeper LP made in a different dimension.
Worlds can seem quite monotonous to some extent, as the same contrasting elements are used throughout the EP. In a way, Esben and Mads are contradictory and are a good example of the ‘opposites attract’ theory. They complement each other, but could use some polishing up. The whole EP reeks of Esben, also apparent in the title of the songs (mostly one-word titles), which is a general tendency for Rangleklods. Not that there is anything wrong with that – but Mads seems to drown a little in Esben’s expression. Nonetheless, if they managed to produce this in a month, who knows what they could create if they cooperated for an extended period of time? Worlds is a madly decent EP and a remarkable creation, but is still not entirely convincing. Having said this, the more I listened, the more hooked I got, and now their Soundcloud page will probably stay a permanent tab on my browser for the next couple of days. It’s utterly dance-friendly and a good warm-up for a night out. If you can’t get enough and need to hear them live, they will be giving a debut concert on the 31st of January in Vienna for a Spot on Denmark night.