I know for many of you summer may still seem far off. Beijing, Toronto and Paris are hovering in the 50s, and sweaters still abound across the northern and southern climbs. But the season has unequivocally arrived in Rio and LA, my current location. And with it, my current musical artifact fixation, the summer jam.
Ready for another?
French synth-pop duo Reflex have popped up on EMPT before, and if you liked them then, you’ll like them now. “Sunset (Club Mix)” is classic Ibiza day-party fare: simple, light beat, a pluck bass that doesn’t take over, staccato synth stabs, shimmering pads, and of course sexy Euro-tinged vocals that receive a full chop’n’sample treatment at the drop.
The band tags all of their tracks as “seadisco.” They’ve apparently coined this subgenre, as I couldn’t find any other references on the entire internetz! EMPT regulars know of my constant crusade against sub-genre proliferation, and I’m going to have to bring the hammer down here, though gently. If seadisco means music with a disco beat that works well at beach parties, I at least get where they’re coming from. But then, isn’t that just about all disco or electro-pop? Reflex gets credit for coining a phrase and pushing it, because it remains true that bands need some sort of differentiator or aspect to which fans can cling to separate them from the pack. As much as I like Reflex, it’s undeniable that there are a ton of bands that sound similar (La Roux and Yelle lead this particular pack).
Ludmila Cassar’s vocals are the real deal though. Good production is easier to come by than a talented vocalist, and she combines all the pieces you look for: consistent delivery (as in, she has a voice and sticks to it across all tracks), recognition that this isn’t the place for deep lyricism, and sex appeal. Nothing wrong with having a gorgeous French woman fronting your band.
If you dig the Club Mix, check out the original track (it’s much more dance-floor oriented). Scratch that, check out ALL of Reflex’s remixes and original work. The songs all sound similar, but different enough that the similarity is a good thing. Dive into the short video below for an EP preview and an awesome snapshot of Reflex’s Asia tour. SPOILER: it includes an infinity pool on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Enjoy.