Side C - "bitter//sweet"

Side C – “bitter//sweet”

Side C is the moniker of Orlando producer, Kevin Cruz. Kevin is the guy at the front of the stage with the dope flat top, dancing like he’s got the fever. As Side C, he ices that fever and turns it into cool, groovy, expansive instrumentals. His latest is “bitter//sweet.”

The initial elements of the song are minimalist tones that float above a sample of crashing waves. Before the ticking beat is introduced at 0:25, I’m pulled into the same headspace that Brian Eno evokes: calm introspection. I don’t stay there for long, though. The song is filled-in with the aforementioned beat, dreamy melodies, and gentle cymbals.

Two minutes in, the music fades. Pieces slowly drop out until we’re left with the few sounds we had at beginning, bringing the song to its apparent end. But silence only lasts a second, and we are introduced to a short, ice cream truck-like jingle. This is again built upon. The whole story feels like an entire day spent unknotting at the beach.

The tart side of “bitter//sweet” is that it serves as Kevin’s farewell to Orlando. This is expressed in the soulful keys and emotive flute of the second half. It’s an overall happy send-off, but is slightly tinged with sadness, kind of like driving back to home after our day at the beach. I have no doubt Cruz will continue to make great music in the future, and he’ll always be covered in the stench that is Orlando. It doesn’t watch off.

Azul Toga – “Bedroom 2”

More and more, I find myself really craving dream pop. I think it’s the vast openness dream pop artists tend to create; a landscape where I can feel at total peace. Songs like this allow me to think so clearly, so introspectively that real life issues seem so faint. Portland-based artist Azul Toga transports me in this way. I hope he does the same for you. Enjoy.

Fred Thomas – “Pumpkin Seeds”

Sit back. Let it all soak in. Listen to the soft strums of the guitar. The echoing voice of Fred Thomas sways like a gentle breeze. This isn’t new – it’s off of Thomas’ 2012 album Night Times – but as the hellish Florida weather begins to show mercy, it is fitting. I just want to melt into this song. And I’m glad to read the word “pumpkin” without it being followed by the word “spice.” Enjoy.

Phoenix + the Flower Girl – “Yes, She Knows (Fortune Howl Remix)”

Recently, Orlando music producer and Relief in Abstract artist Fortune Howl released this very fluid remix of “Yes, She Knows” by Phoenix + the Flower Girl. Like his original work, the track has a similar Fortune Howl abstract formula. His music is incredibly lava lamp-esque, continually flowing and morphing into strange shapes and vibrant colors. Whenever I hear a Fortune Howl song, I get this disturbing feeling that at anytime I could be attacked by some sort of shadowy monster. But it’s just too damn cool to not enjoy. So. Enjoy.

SALES – “toto (XXYYXX Remix)”

An Orlando producer shapes his own version of an already great track, originally created by a fellow Orlando act. The result is refreshing. Listen to the original below, and catch SALES next week at Will’s with Maximino, Pathos Pathos, and The Welzeins. Enjoy.