(Orange Milk, 2014)
Every car chase needs car-chase music, and Yves Malone is the undisputed master of the genre. Coming off this year’s spectacular triple release Three Movies on Field Hymns, he’s remained wildly prolific, at least as that release made him seem. This is all for the best – the world of 2014 needs Yves Malone kicking out his John Carpenter–meets–Tangerine Dream jams as consistently as possible. What with all this ebola being shared by everybody and the ISIS crisis (did I just coin the most intensely catchy term of the year? Only Google will tell… nope) in Iraq and Syria, we need a feel-good hit of synthesizer madness, at least one that makes me think of Buckaroo Banzai instead of somebody like Kim Jong-un…
Where was I? Right, gun violence! Car chases! Ebony Sunrise, Malone’s righteous tape for Brooklyn-based Orange Milk Records, carries right on through the nocturnal urban terror driving and baddie ducking of Three Movies to its clear sonic descendent, nude man standing on rock in the midst of pink waves. OK, so maybe that’s not as clear a next move as I’d have liked for the purposes of my narrative, but that is indeed a description of the cover, and it screams Orange Milk through and through, so I can never argue with it. Still, the pastels remain in the tones and the vibe, as if Malone had his own programmed radio station on Grand Theft Auto: Miami … or Vice City, sorry. Miami’s clearly too specific, and we would never want anyone to think that Miami’s a cesspool of mob-run crime. (Total sarcasm – Miami is a cesspool, or so the game makes me believe, and I believe everything the game tells me.). His synths scream sleek neon, like there’s tons of money flowing through the bank accounts of shifty club owners and bar owners, as if there’s anybody else that lives in Miami!
I’ll get off that Miami kick now in order to spare you more proselytizing to humorous effect (whether you laugh or not is on your conscience), but man, Yves lets the bass thump on “Massacre Disco,” which surprisingly begins with, again, a John Carpenter– or “Tubular Bells”–esque motif before getting all disco-y and massacre-y, like a car chase – and there’s that again, too! – at night with sunglasses on. “Cave Sequence” makes me want to don (get it?) pastel t-shirts and roll up the sleeves on my blazer before heading out into the seedy underbelly of the city for whatever nasty business I can get myself into. And if I can ever get “Ebony Sunrise” out of my head, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself – imagine being up all night, booze, coke, hookers, the whole thing, and waking up on a beach next to a dead body. Piece that together, you hazy-brained tragic character! “Ebony Sunrise” is the tense soundtrack to that moment. And it’s awesome.
There are also songs titled “Mega Funk,” “Piano Sutro,” and “Cheap Thunder II,” and if those don’t speak for themselves, get a VHS player and watch a bunch of 1980s action flicks. Or Fletch – that took place in Los Angeles (I think – Fletch always had Lakers memorabilia in sight), but it still applies, regardless of location. Anyway, you’ll get the connection sooner or later – Yves Malone is the modern maestro of this genre, and somehow he’s resurrected it to a point where it should be foremost in your music consciousness. Whether or not you care for Miami or GTA: Vice City or even car chases is beside the point. There’s lots to love here.
…I’m at the end of this review and I didn’t even get into the Marlins’ monstrosity of a home run sculpture at their ridiculous ballpark! See? So dumb, Miami!
RIYL: John Carpenter, Torn Hawk, Tangerine Dream, Luxury Elite