Sunset Review :: Giraffage – ‘Needs’
March 9th 2013
Only in this Internet Age is it possible to hear music from San Francisco that makes outer space seem familiar.
It’s not strange otherwordly warbles that define Giraffage’s sound. This guy’s music brings to mind a very specific, sensual part of space. Oh yes, sensual my friends. Deep blues and purples bleed into the slow-moving world, each of its parts rotating on every axis. Bodies encounter each other by chance, briefly twisting and writhing with physically-draining yet somehow effortless passion, before floating off without a care. This section of the infinite void must be just crawling with STIs, but damn it who cares – just keep the album on loop and you don’t have to worry about that shit.
Giraffage pretty clearly has a handle on RnB-tinged ‘dreampop’, but this record doesn’t see him sticking to that formula.
Unless you actually are on another planet, that chillwave-esque sound can start to lose its effect relatively quickly. It all starts to wash over the listener without eliciting a huge reaction if things aren’t mixed up occasionally, and that’s probably not ideal when creating an album for the internet generation.
‘Money’ sets Giraffage’s sound in the mould of the trending ‘trap’ genre that’s been increasing its hold over blogs and charts for the past year. The track certainly gets ears pricking up after the syrupy vibes of the record’s first two songs. Things then switch up into a higher tempo, with ‘Home’, Giraffage’s interpretation of house music. Near the end of the album, there’s even a surprise shift into some warped variation of boom bap on ‘Checkmate’. It’s hard to imagine the internet’s disciples being disappointed with his exploration of sounds.
There are two reasons why Giraffage is genre hopping and catering to internet genre trends. Firstly, he knows it will capture the attention of bloggers and their followers. Secondly, he himself is immersed in, and therefore influenced by, the constant fluctuation of popular sounds on the internet. What’s incredible is how flawlessly it’s all been executed. Using the example of trap music, Giraffage could’ve easily layed down some huge 808 kicks, skittering hats, pitch-shifted snare rolls etc, and just stuck a couple of his synths in the middle. Instead, he takes some of those elements, and blends them together with his own sound, managing to make many tracks equally familiar as they are fresh.
In short, Giraffage is very much aware and involved in today’s internet-central music world, but he manages to align those influences with his own sound. This attitude allowed him to release an interesting, experimental album that never stops being listenable.
Giraffage’s sound is very similar to that of seventeen year old, Orlando-based producer XXYYXX. The two often tour together, and have collaborated in the past. XXYYXX is playing the Standard on the 27th of March, so if you want to indulge yourself in these vibes in a live setting, snap up a ticket. It’s Cosmo’s Midnight’s debut live show too. I’m really excited about those guys, so definitely check it out if you can.