Daphni - Cherry Music Album Reviews

Daphni - Cherry Music Album Reviews
Dan Snaith’s joyous new album as Daphni lets its first-thought-best-thought spirit shine. Bar for bar, this might be the most fun there is to be had on a dance record this year.

Daphni was born out of necessity. Back in the late 2000s, when he wasn’t out on the road as Caribou, Dan Snaith was spinning marathon DJ sessions, and he needed tracks to flesh out his setlists. Taking a page from artists like Theo Parrish, he’d chop up bits of funk or Afrobeat into breezy floor-fillers. But unlike a lot of the material produced during the edits craze of the 2000s and 2010s, Daphni tracks never felt overly derivative of their source material. Even when the sample was obvious—as in his mix of the 1973 single “Ne Noya,” by the obscure Togolese group Cos-Ber-Zam—his edits were more like epiphytes than parasites, blossoming into colorful and extravagant forms that rested elegantly on the branches of the originals.

Cherry is Snaith’s third full-length under the alias, not counting a 2017 Fabriclive mix built largely out of tracks that followed a few months later on Joli Mai, the most recent Daphni album until now. He’s moved on from the edits of the early years, but Daphni tracks remain sketch-like in form. The Canadian-born, London-based producer makes a habit of whipping up one or two rudimentary loops every day: He estimates that he worked from a folder of some 900 snippets to create 2020’s Suddenly, the latest Caribou album. In Caribou productions, the initial loop may be little more than scaffolding that’s eventually stripped away to reveal a fully composed piece of music, but Cherry’s songs let their first-thought-best-thought spirit shine. Many of the most thrilling tracks are cobbled together out of the merest handful of ideas—but what fascinating ideas they are.

Take the album’s eponymous lead single, which arrays rickety FM synths over a bare-bones house shuffle. The drums are a model of efficiency, yet the arpeggio teeters around the beat as though it could go off the rails at any moment, imperiling the smooth-sailing groove with every stumble and lurch. From the haphazard timing, it sounds like Snaith might have banged out the off-kilter pattern in a matter of seconds and then, instead of fixing what another producer might consider a fuckup, just left it alone. Yet the irregularity and the spontaneity are precisely what make it so gripping. “Always There” is even simpler—just a sampled loop of Latin jazz, sped up so fast that it makes Alvin and the Chipmunks sound like trip-hop. The effect is part diggers’ epiphany, part gonzo flourish: The pumping chords carry a hint of Underground Resistance’s silvery menace, yet an extended horn solo sounds almost cartoonish, like a musical mosquito. It’s audacious, yet the ferocity of the groove that Snaith layers underneath makes it clear that he’s not fooling around.

Most tracks barely make it past the three-minute mark, and some are positively skeletal: “Crimson,” a pinging arpeggio stretched across a wispy suggestion of white-noise hi-hats, sounds like a club anthem that’s been sun-bleached until only the faintest streaks of color are left. “Falling” loops a four-bar snatch of what might be ’80s soul, a little bit like one of Oneohtrix Point Never’s Chuck Person jams, but a rolling filter sweep wrings hidden harmonics from the sample; starting out high and hissy, it plunges to deep, chest-massaging sub-bass. Every time the sample loops, the kick drum makes itself felt exactly once, and it’s hard to overstate how satisfying it is when it hits home. Even on the simplest songs, Cherry’s sound design is uniformly stunning, with worlds of detail lurking in the shadow of every hand-carved break and modular gurgle.

The mood is overwhelmingly upbeat; bar for bar, this might be the most fun there is to be had on a dance record this year. “Mania” flips Todd Edwards-style vocal chops and a fidget-house beat, of all things, into beatific dub techno. “Cloudy” drizzles on jazz piano runs like maple syrup, recalling the quicksilver Rhodes soloing of Daft Punk’s “Disco Cubizm” remix. “Take Two,” a highlight, is a thundering filter-disco anthem greased by bent notes and propelled by hip-hop crowd chants of “Go! Go! Go!”—an unexpected grace note that tips the mood from euphoric to outright giddy. The lush keys and dandelion-tuft vocal loops of opener “Arrow” would have made a lovely, if unsurprising, downtempo ballad. Instead, Snaith opts to push the BPMs and lace the rhythm with lacerating hi-hats. Cherry is often as sweet as anything Snaith has recorded under either alias, but it’s clear that for now, energy is front of mind. Unlike club music meant for DJ mixing, whose patient intros and outros are wont to prod home listeners to reach for the skip button, these bite-sized pieces invariably leave you wanting more.

A lot of electronic music, even when it’s made for dancing, is complex, byzantine, knotted up in heady concepts. Cherry is none of these things. A tour de force of dancefloor intuition and emotional release, it has no point to prove; pleasure is the chief, perhaps the only, concern. The music is breathtakingly simple but also sneakily and refreshingly adventurous. Listening to the carefully wrought songs on Suddenly, I wished that Snaith had given freer rein to his experimental instincts. On Cherry, he cuts loose.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Daphni - Cherry Music Album Reviews Daphni - Cherry Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 17, 2022 Rating: 5


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