By: Evan Townsend
The debut EP from Birds of Paradise, Ascended Blasters, is set drop this Monday, January 9th. But already the duo has a legacy in its two halves, California-based producers Torin Goodnight and Tyler Gibson. Each has a decade of experience behind them, and has been steadily making waves in the electronic music scene— Goodnight as Bird of Prey and Tyler Gibson simply as “Gibson.”
The first taste of the duo came with Bird of Prey’s most recent release, Dreamcatcher, which featured Gibson’s hand in “Sonic Bloom.” As both produce somewhere in the sphere of psychedelic electronic, their sound immediately meshed. And that’s what makes this project work. While some clunky collaborations sound like little more than poorly produced mash-ups, Birds of Paradise flows seamlessly. It’s impossible to distinguish the contributions of each artist.
On Ascended Blasters, Birds of Paradise offers sounds as soaring and majestic as their namesake. In only four tracks, the duo quickly delineates their realm of meditative psydub. The album opens with “Wingspan,” an odyssey through syncopated rhythms and slow, resonant surges. It’s followed by “Lucid Dream,” a darker track accentuated with bursts of colorful synth. In the aptly titled “Soulgasm,” sensuality is the key. It’s a refreshing reminder that electronic music doesn’t need to be dirty to be seductive. The final track, “Ocean Minded,” stays heavy but graceful as it dances through a shimmering of sonorous notes.
Birds of Paradise doesn’t rely on go-to hooks, like dance-sensible melodies and quick-fix filth drops. Instead, their music embodies a feeling, a state of being. The duo plays to their strengths— patience, beauty, and depth— and it pays off. Each track captures a tantric ebb and flow of sound, like a slow massage to the psyche. It didn’t seem to take much for these two to ease into each other’s style and master the art of collaboration.
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