Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Palmbomen II: Memories Of Cindy

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Artist: Palmbomen II
Title: Memories Of Cindy
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: Beats In Space Records
The concept behind this release from Kai Hugo is an unusual one, both centrepiecing and eulogizing a woman called Cindy who may or may not exist, circling around themes that are on one level romantic but on another more sinister and bordering on obsessive.

Musically though things are much more straightforward- this is downtempo melodic house, a big collection of mostly-instrumental house made up of straight 4/4 drum machine patterns underpinning layers of synth arpeggios and pads, coupled with TB-303 style acid bass notes in a very refined and moderated form. Most of the tracks are little more than grooves, structured in fairly conventional DJ-friendly ways with predictable breakdowns. For some tracks, imagine Hardfloor tracks but slower with more dreaminess and less attitude.

What vocals there are, such as the word “Seventeen” sung on loop during the track of the same name, are generally quite ethereal and complimentary but they never step out far enough to really be described as songs. “Dreams Always Come Thru” is one of the best examples.

More notable production points include the unusual tape wobble melody effects of “RTL Unifeeder”, and “IAO Industries” which is a little harder and more raw-edged and slightly more intriguing for it.

At 22 tracks and 88 minutes, it’s a little self-indulgent and it could certainly have been tightened up into a single CD release (I’d have to single out “Dancing & Crying” as particularly flat). It’s a smoothly made and consistent musical vision but it perhaps lacks some of the twists and turns it maybe needed to make it really stand out- though given their YouTube activities, maybe Palmbomen II are more interested in adding visual character.


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