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Ivy Disco: After The Future

Dense, experimental electronic production is paired with enigmatic lyrics.

8 Sep 2017 / Opinion, Review / written by Skye Mallac

Today’s electronic music scene is largely about the new age. Pushing production boundaries and experimental strategies with just a keyboard and a good selection of software is the dernier cri, and electro dream groove duo, Ivy Disco – made up of Marc Shawn Brown and Duane de Jager – has hopped aboard with their debut EP, “After The Future”.

‘We Are Not The People’ implements a fast-paced percussive progression to introduce the project, which proceeds to then veer in a rock driven direction before turning back on itself briskly. A multitude of electro-instrumental components create the bulk of the track, while almost indistinct female vocals take occasionally to the fore. An airy, singular melody suffuses ‘Grandeur’. Synth heavy, high tone, pillowed sound brings the tempo of the EP right down, as Brown’s vocals explore his personal pretentions, “Welcome to the wild side / head high / we don’t drive places / we fly.”

While a woody, percussive melody expertly underpins spacey synths in ‘Sun’, one can’t quite put a finger on what they’re trying to say. On the other hand, ‘Waves’ boasts a pronounced baseline and is just romantic enough to be dubbed a love song; heavy electronic melody buffering languid vocal lines. Investigating the sovereignty we have, yet are often unaware of, in this life, ‘We Are Free’ pairs organ-esque melody with a grinding baritone electronic counterpart. “We are not chained / we do what we do,” Brown’s crooning vocals repeat with striking verve – while ‘Why’ follows on and is ambient and lilting in its simplicity.

Vocal repetition draws away from the marvellously off-kilter, eerie synth work of ‘Float’ – and ‘Father Nature’ wraps up the project evasively – both melodically and lyrically – as if they weren’t quite ready. It’s difficult to quite put your finger on the thematic vein throughout the EP. Although on a surface level the lyrics are strikingly prosaic, it sometimes feels as though they are simply using their poetic licence to spin enigmatic, non-linear stories into play. However, on a production level, the EP is a strikingly complex offering.

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