I used to joke that nostalgia was my default emotion. It often feels true. It’s a complex feeling — not always rooted in longing but sometimes found in interest and passion. This seems to be the case for both Phuse (the project producer known for his throwback sounds) and Jo-B (an artist with a passion for, among other things, vintage synths), who found themselves creatively linked when Phuse remixed Jo-B’s “Get To Know You”. The result: Tropic.
Tropic create textured sounds with nods to the past and ultra-modern production that will appeal to fans of electronic music and those more interested in the minutia of the way sounds meet. Their debut, Bittersweet EP, opens on a complex note: “Bittersweet” pulls from the R&B sounds of the 90s and emotive qualities of the 80s, all poured over a shiny layered groove.
The EP slides between emphasizing hook and lyrical content, and indulging in the groove — thus creating a balance. For example, where the zippy (and conductively titled) “Nostalgia” relates heartbreak “Is it just nostalgia, coming over me, I’ve been losing sleep, over you”, “Breathe Again” finds repeating patterns both lyrically and in the beat that make it easy to lose yourself in. To complement this further, the EP closes with a redux of “Bittersweet”, this time pushing it into more metalic territory, where the rhythm rules over the melody. It’s more experimental, though apart from a bass pulse that ups the tension at the end, doesn’t hold up to the heart of the track’s first mix.
Tropic are causing a stir for their originality and inclusion of past inspirations into thoroughly modern music, and they deserve the love for their innovation. If you’re looking to hear more from the duo, you can find them at their website, SoundCloud, and Facebook page. You can also follow them on Twitter.