Opinion Review

Christian Tiger School: Chrome Tapes

I want to scream a massive “Fuck Yeah!” for “Chrome Tapes”, the intrepid new offering from Cape Town duo, Christian Tiger School. The real shift in my perspective of what these two have evolved into, as producers, happened at Cape Town Electronic Music Festival and this release unequivocally drives the point home.

Luc Vermeer and Sebastiano Zanasi have shaken the shackles off, escaped the pressure of appealing to a mainstream audience for the second release and instead, have made the music we didn’t know we wanted to hear. The appeal of “Chrome Tapes” has a reach further than the boundaries that often hinder South African electronic music producers, becoming transcendental of assumed restrictions.

The overall aesthetic of the album is dark and cyclical. Pounding, offbeat rhythms are complimented by haunting synths and abstract samples and effects. In terms of the track that will be asked for most and shouted out from crowded dancefloors, ‘Chorisolo’ takes the crown – it is fast paced, attractive and by no means basic. ‘Damn January’, featuring vernacular superstar rapper Okmalumkoolkat, is ominous and seductive while ‘Zloz’ is the track that surprised me the most, containing broken beat downtempo allusions to the current gqom wave frenzy. There is a maturity in the new CTS that I wasn’t expecting but for which I had definitely been subconsciously yearning.

Closing track ‘Cinderella Rocafella’ begins with a coquettish rhythm that alludes to a culmination that never arrives. Instead we are confronted by a calming interlude that progresses into a dramatic, slightly industrial, drum-laden conclusion.

This release is important because any one of these tracks are able to stand alone and be as powerful as the package. More significantly, CTS have entered the tenuous battlefield of having an audience that finds appeal in what they produce, rather than producing to appeal to the audience. There is no runt in this litter, this is a pack of Alphas and they’re all showing their teeth.

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Listen to “Chrome Tapes” below on Deezer.