By: Kyle Rutherford
Who knew that The City of Brotherly Love could breed some excellent funk? Wax Future’s second EP, Keep the Memories, is a fresh dive into the sound of funky electro-soul. If you’re a fan of Pretty Lights, GRiZ, Gramatik and Vibe Street, you definitely will need to keep these guys on your radar.
Our first taste of the EP comes from “We Keep Movin’,” a solid track that seems to take influence from what you would hear on releases from Lowtemp or All Good Records. Keith Wadsworth’s guitar chops coupled with Connor Hansell’s glitchy sounds will get you your head bobbing and feet dancing right off the bat. It’s definitely a solid look into what you’ll be hearing throughout the entire release.
“The Fall Out” is more of a laidback cut, reminiscent of the music of Pretty Lights. This tune flows beautifully, with beautiful atmospheric sounds, echoing female vocals, light, rootsy guitar work and minimal glitch performances. It’s the kind of music you close your eyes and sway to while you’re at a festival’s late night stage, making you feel like you’re shooting through the stars in outer space.
The sentimental crisp sound of the title track, “Keep the Memories,” keeps the future, spacey feeling of ambient electronic going strong. While the drums and vocals are a nod to the swing era of music, the call and response clash between the heavy synth stabs and guitar riffing is more reminiscent of jazz and blues sound structures.
“New Funk City” brings the danceable energy back with some more up-tempo funk/swing sounds. Wadworth’s guitar riffing is definitely at its strongest here, while Hansell’s sampling is just as strong, taking vocals from the likes Clipse, The Notorious B.I.G. and even some lyrics that can’t be found from a usually easy Google search. Heavy synths are minimally used on this one, but when they arrive, the waves hit you strong and hard.
We get some great organic drum sounds on “Forlorn Hope” from fellow Philadelphian Jay Yachetta of Passion Crimes. All three musicians create a striking wall of sound together, with Pretty Lights-esque bass performers, epic drum work and progressive guitar sounds. The vocal sampling on this one goes along well with the title’s meaning, with positive lyrics as well as some darker and even historical words. It seems like Wax Future paid attention in history class when they sampled a 1938 speech from Winston Churchill halfway through the song. The speech came after the early Allied Powers allowed Germany to annex sections of Czechoslovakia as a part of the Munich Agreement, which was later seen as a failure. Did you think you would get a short history lesson today?
Closing out the EP, Wax Future went back to some more soulful sounds. “A Love that Lasts Forever” is light and lovely, with echoing orchestral atmospheres, jazzy saxophone and repetition of the track’s title. You even get sampling of Dr. Brand from the film Interstellar, stating that “love is one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.” It keeps you satisfied and feeling happy; a great end to a phenomenal EP.
The production quality and innovativeness of Keep the Memories rivals that of seasoned veterans of the scene. After hearing this EP, you’re definitely going to want to catch a live show of theirs, especially to see how VJ Gralin Hughes synthesizes his visuals with the music of the others. Future funk is hear to stay, and Wax Future will be a force to be reckoned with.
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