Published September 27, 2012
I must admit my ineptitude: I didn’t know until relatively recently that “chill” was an actual genre name. Seemingly it is, and it implies something that I would’ve termed downtempo or lounge before, or lumped somewhere close to trip-hop. Extreme Chill, an Icelandic collective of chill enthusiasts, have done a great job of promoting these relaxed, groovy sounds with regular nights and a successful summer festival.
Beatmakin Troopa (the pseudonym of Pan Thorarensen) is a key member of the collective and his Beatmakin releases are revered within the group, as are the collaborations he’s done with his father under the name Stereo Hypnosis. On the five-track EP ‘If You Fall You Fly,’ he teams up with composer Þorkell Atlason. The result? Very chill.
Electric and acoustic guitars are quite prominent on this release, giving it an organic feel that may or may not remind you of something like The Album Leaf. The guitars are usually pattern-based or provide the basic chord progression, thus interlocking with straightforward drum grooves and smooth bass licks. On top, Troopa has layered dreamy synths and more screechy guitars. Various “ethnic” elements pop up here and there, most notably in the title track, a suite of sorts that goes around the world and back in less than seven minutes. A surprise visit from the saxophone player makes for a beautiful and unexpected moment in “The First Touch,” as does an electric freak-out near the end of the recording.
The whole EP is remarkably consistent, providing the listener with a nice and well-contained 25-minute journey through his own mind and the Troopa’s.
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