Review: Drugface - In The Clouds (Multi Culti)
“Heroes don’t care what’s cool. Heroes care ‘bout what’s right. And that’s what makes them so fucking cool.”
- Joseph Campbell Jr.
When the record ‘sleeve’ notes (though nowadays these tend to be a text file inside a music folder) start with such a quote, things can go in only one of two directions: incredibly pretentious or just really good. Thankfully for the latest Multi Culti release, and what else could it be when it’s by this label, it’s the latter.
The Multi Culti manifesto reads: “Music to trip to. Music to meditate on. Music to heal the world. Music to upgrade your DNA. Music to get your whole family dancing. Music to teach you. Music to live by. Music to die to. MUSIC TO MULTIPLY YOUR MIND.”
If we could choose only one of the above to describe In The Clouds, ‘music to get your whole family dancing’ seems to be the most appropriate. Families, after all, are not meant to have similar tastes. We don’t choose our families, yet we grow up with them and learn the art of acceptance and co-existence together. But with In The Clouds, there is no need for compromise. It’s a record that has the quality and versatility to make everyone happy. The enigmatic collaboration known as Drugface have finally revealed themselves to be Canadian tastemakers Thomas Von Party and John Shape, and they have chosen a great time to do so.
If what is ‘cool’ nowadays is drops and ‘bangers’, the duo have stayed true to their style and gone the opposite direction, and the overall result just feels right. This is not your usual dance music record; it doesn’t try to be fancy, yet it retains an air of quality throughout.
The EP consists of only two originals, On The Prowl (co-produced by Dreems) and In The Clouds, complete with three distinctly different remixes of the title track.
The A-side starts off with the dream-pop melancholy of In The Clouds, with mumbled lyrics that carry an element of pain, or pain left behind, ending with the line “Next time I see you, I hope it’s in the clouds.” On The Prowl, on the other hand, is unashamedly catchy and upbeat, and may very well be the underdog track of the release.
The record continues into more dancefloor-oriented territories with the remixes, without losing its warm, dreamy essence. There’s something in it for everyone: a spaced out version by Beat Escape, an uplifting, arpeggio-rich version by Simple Symmetry and a ten-minute long hypnotic remix by Clarian to accompany every sunset. In some ways, it feels that this EP would perfectly complement Clarian’s debut 2018 album Television Days.
In The Clouds may not be music to pump your fist to. But sometimes you need music for something else. Music for pre-parties. Music for afterparties. Music for the drive to the beach on a summer day. It’s shoegazing electronica for those with their heads in the clouds and their hearts in the right place.