Wild Ways is a Vancouver two piece, Kyle McCrea and Conrad Black. This is their first EP, which they recorded and mixed themselves. The six tracks have a slick retro electronic feel: unapologetic four-on-the-floor beats, unpretentious and satisfying chord progressions, woven together with grungy analog synth drones, and repetitive, trance-inducing melody lines that flutter like dayglo moths under a blacklight.
The duo’s vocals approach throughout Wild Ways has a detached, druggy feel. all reverb tracers, and street lights reflected in the windshield; a melancholy yet resilient come-down in the hours before dawn. The layers of synth and sequencing create lushly textured sonic waves that wash over the listener in groovy, meditative streams.
This is dance music, but it flows with sensual languor, tickling the pineal gland and inducing a dreamy feeling of being set adrift in the ocean of the eternal. “Yesterday,”one of the catchier tracks, features flickering high-end arpeggiator rhythms, grounded by a low-end riff that uses the pitch-bender in a way that verges on erotic.
I once had a conversation with the boys of Wild Ways where they explained that it was necessary to practice as loud as possible, since when performing, suddenly commanding a much higher volume than one was used to could induce a kind of sonic vertigo. It’s like getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari when you’re used to driving a Honda Civic. When I remembered this little nugget of wisdom, I cranked the EP through a P.A. system and found that the range of frequencies coming through at this level was more palpable and visceral, and sounded really fucking awesome.
Overall, Wild Ways’ EP is a promising first release, particularly if you are an analog aficionado. Just don’t insult this effort by listening to it on laptop speakers.