French electronic producer Denis Tremblay introduced his Canada Effervescent alias to the world with last year’s ‘A World Of Means / Automne Eternel’ split release with Recou Futur, and this latest release ‘Ridin’ America’ represents just one of two cassette albums that he’s dropped during the second half of 2017. Tremblay describes his productions as being influenced by the likes of Joanna Brouk and David Parsons, and in many senses the seven tracks collected here offer up a sincere tribute to those New Age figureheads, without a hint of irony or the lurking sinister undertones that have become so prevalent these days, thanks to the influence of the ‘Stranger Things’ soundtrack.
Rather, this is music for relaxation and mindfulness that’s meant to be taken at face value, though there’s a definite nostalgic eighties feel to the synths being used here. ‘Fiji Crystals At Dawn’ leads this album off with its most expansive track as cycling organ tones and buzzing bass synths gently cycle beneath phased pads, the soft rock guitar noodlings that rise out of haze providing a sharp focus anchor point as the gently pulsing electronics reach out towards the horizon. When taken in one single dose, there’s certainly a sense of your metabolism being slowed down as the entire track gradually slows and stretches out into a shimmering pool of warm melodic tones, something that’s certainly one of the hallmarks of the strongest examples of New Age music.
Elsewhere, ‘Ridin’ America I’ reintroduces the noodling guitar licks, threading them against gently ebbing melodic sequences and as curious bubbling tones get filtered at the edges of the stereo spectrum, before ‘Down The Road’ offers a deep dive down into sampled ocean waves and bird calls as glassy synth trails unfurl like velvet curtains against delicate harp runs and warm bass tones pulse gently like a heartbeat. While closing track ‘Tidal Wave’ injects the one hint of darkness, it’s an atypical moment here, its ominous bass drones suggesting the one lone stormcloud lurking in an otherwise clear Pacific sky.