16 Jan 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski
As if an effort greater than preceding ones to launch the ICEE HOT collective operating out of San Francisco into the global scene, Avalon Emerson, with her crunchy and optimistic style, has paid new and old dance fans a great service by marrying her instant classic "Quoi!," which earned a nine out of ten rating already in Mixmag, to its official interactive counterpart, a video by SF artist Cabbibo.
The interactive video requires WebGL, best through Google Chrome. If you don't have Chrome and don't feel like installing yet want to hear the sounds and see the space, you can still watch a demo of the video and observe the moonscaped squares orbiting around some kind of fractal nucleus. And then the rave nostalgia kicks-in: Is anyone else reminded of Windows Media Player and iTunes 1.0 visuals? Does anyone see the re-emergence of warehouse parties in the Bay Area as history repeating itself, but hopefully with less E?
"Quoi!" displays fantastic restraint and knowledge of house archetypes. It starts off with a punch, then the sample, which sounds like something Fatboy Slim would've used, loops itself into a knot over the right amount of thumping bass, and builds long enough for us to think that the song is going to eventually explode into clubby loudness. Instead, we are mulled over by synth groove and a sharp but warm melodic centerpiece. There is more than a pinch of progressive house/techno nostalgia here, a reminiscence not altogether similar but corresponding somewhat with the latest from Fort Romeau. "Quoi!" differs in that it somehow manages both praise of the rave days and clean auspiciousness about new directions for dance music. Fort Romeau, on the other hand, while his sound is immaculate in several ways, sounds like he plans on staying in the past.
Just think, ravers and typical Ibiza-patrons in the mid-90s never saw this type of video work coming. All they cared about was getting Digweed to the warehouse to spin "Heaven Scent" over and over.
Is that Avalon and ICEE HOT fifteen years ago?
But damn, it gives me chills, all of it. It gives me chills to indulge in that nostalgia, and it excites me to interact with this video, to puppet synaesthesia, and to think about how far we've come and more forward movement for dance, especially in the States.
You can preview "Pressure/Quoi!" here, or buy the record here.
Read more →