Out into the woods

Now that the majority of the world population are living in an urban environment and have lost touch with their rural hinterland for good, the city walls appear to present an increasingly compelling reality which screams for escape routes from this urbanity. This escape may take the shape of a flight into rural areas, but in a broader sense, also be an escape from the reality of the here and now.

New developments in popular music reveal movements addressing this, with musicians consciously exchanging the contemporary for hazy, second-hand memories from a not so distant past. In addition, there is a strong interest in the sounds of the supernatural. Movements like ‘Chillwave’ and ‘Hypnagogic Pop’ resonate their fascination with memories of 1980s chartbusters in an almost ghost-like manner. Out Into the Woods focuses on these uncanny, soft-focus coloured memories.

Oneohtrix Point Never (US)

In this one-man project, Daniel Lopatin only uses synthesizers for his psychonautic self-investigation which echoes the rhythmless Krautrock sounds of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. The pop compositions arising from these synth melodies evoke memories of a lost science fiction future that used to be.

Toro Y Moi (USA)

With his debut record Causers of This, Chaz Bundick, the person hiding behind the aka Toro Y Moi, managed to elaborate musically on the glo-fi summer. His music has elements of hit parade classics from the 1980s and 1990s, which, considering the man’s age, cannot be anything but personal memories from his childhood. The result is an elusive, almost ghost-like memory of an era disrupted by filters, lo-fi media like cassettes and contemporary influences. Because next to a love for pop aestheticism, the influence of beatmakers like J Dilla and Flying Lotus is also clearly present.

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