Published: October 24, 2013
By: Jacki Horne
With a name like VibeSquaD you should expect nothing less than delicious mood-enhancing soundscapes from Aaron Holstein's new Spinning Gears and Making Things album, because that is exactly what your ears will experience while listening to the 17-track masterpiece. It has a wide array of delicious electronic elements from deep bass, soulful funk, ambience, and even a dash of hip-hop. The album resembles a stroll through the weird places of your own consciousness, and discovering all the little intricate gears that make the things tick inside your head, from childhood memories, to making eyes with a cute stranger on the dancefloor, to finding the inexplicably abstract crevices of the mind.
The first few tracks set the stage for the entire album as a rollercoaster of genres, vibes and musical elements tied together through glitch and deep whomps. “Fantastica” opens the album like a lucid dream with an exotic glitch vibe. “Gruel” immediately shakes things up and gets things delectably curious with deep, dark, whomptastic bass and even some childhood voices and classic musical melody mixed in. “Walk of Shame” brings it back with some sensual glitched up funk. This track will without a doubt make you want to hit the floor and get weird and funky; it is one of my favorite tracks on the album. As if that’s not enough genre stimulation, VibesquaD brilliantly switches it up again to a hip-hop sound with “Chocolates” (ft. Dirty MF). The funny, lighthearted hip-hop lyrics are in super slow-mo tempo, and the track maintains the overall deep whomp feel.
“Tumbleweeds” is another one of my favorite tracks on the album; it is full of some of the funkiest glitch and whomps that I have ever heard. The track gets a bit dreamy and abstractly ambient towards the middle, but it never completely loses the deep funk wooble. “Laughingstock” immediately takes it down a few notches from all the funky energy that “tumbleweeds” creates and projects a more reflective, emotion-charged sound, but those notorious weird robotic whomps are still thrown in at the end.
“Fresh Relic” is one of the most hyphy and upbeat tracks on the album, yet it maintains the bassy wobbles, making a fun combination to get weird to on the dance floor. “Tortoise Shell” is otherworldly with a relaxing tempo, and without as much glitch or whomp as many of the previous tracks on the album. The juxtaposition of these back-to-back tracks demonstrates the versatility of this album and how easily VibeSquaD can transition from one mood to another with smooth skill.
The last two tracks of the album continue down a calm wavelength. “Fossils” conveys a soulful funky sound. The track can best be explained as downtempo funk with a spacey background ambience behind it all; it’s the end of the party when you aren’t quite ready to go home yet. “The Search Never Ends” finishes the musical journey off on a soulfully reflective, yet lightheartedly fun note. It’s the slow boogie back home after the party, when you’re finally done dancing through your consciousness.
This album is the journey of finding yourself on the dance-floor through the pretty, weird and intricate gears that make things work inside your head. The versatile and abstract soundscapes create a unique and fun journey for the listener. Give this album a listen, and go on the adventure yourself.