Published: November 29, 2012
By: Lisa Disinger
DJ and Producer R/D (San Francisco) has been busy this year, with appearances at the Midwest's Electric Forest and Mojostock as well as the Left Coast's Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle. His name has appeared on fliers alongside heavy-hitters like Bassnectar, VibeSquaD, and The Glitch Mob. But this hectic touring schedule has not kept the prolific productions of R/D at bay, and after releasing an onslaught of remixes and mixtapes,his latest EP has been unveiled.
The title track of this collection, "Cloud Pound," is an accurate semantic representation of what you should expect to hear. The EP begins with ethereal echoing chords, which give way to a sliding synth melody. But the trance build doesn't keep you hanging on for too long. After a minute of swimming through an atmospheric and climactic introduction, the bass drops and aggressive grinding whomps make their crashing debut.
Available for free download is "Snow Poem." In contrast to the opener, R.D Whitecrafts a composition that is slower in tempo and relies more on sweet and soft sampled bits throughout. The signature trap/hip-hop bass bump adds a well-rounded bounce to the sound that will make the floor vibrate if you are listening through a worthy set of speakers. Three distinct and separate sections are iterated in tune, joined in the end for a lusciously layered medley.
"Moon Vault" features the return of a flurrying arpeggio that appeared in the previous track. Characteristically, however, this tune more resembles the first. As the most energetic and pulsating piece on the album, get ready for some intense organ based, grinding synths and four-to-the-floor pounding beats with little rest in between.
At the end, we are left "Mystified." The cut makes extensive use of euphoric female vocals, chanting the name of the track like the call of a siren. Apart from her melodic calling, the rest of the instrumentals remain in the lower range, providing a sturdy foundation for the highs to float on top of. The outro is a skeleton of bass and vocal only, removing the many in between textures and leaving us with a well tempered exit.
R/D's strongest suit in the production of this Cloud Pound EP is his strategically planned alternation of high and low energy points. Within the tracks you have the chance to dance your feet right off your legs, and then time to catch up and reattach them again. Each movement begins and ends with a smooth acceleration or deceleration of sounds, textures, and overall intensity. Similar riffs and samples bounce around between the tunes, as a sort of theme with variations that ties the overall sonic atmosphere together. The entire compilation can be listened to without interruption, flowing seamlessly from one number to the next, and from a mixing point of view, would be easy to incorporate and blend into a set if you like what you're hearing.