Fresh out of the gate Marcel Everett is making a quick name for himself under the moniker XXYYXX. This 16 year old Floridian displays musical prowess far beyond his meager years of life. Working out of his bedroom Marcel takes a DIY approach to making music, and is further expanding an intricate sub genre of the electronic platform. Though placing an exact label on this album is incredibly hard to fasten: ambient, chillwave, and glo-fi have all been used in attempt to classify this true mood exhibition, while this album is much more than what meets the surface. This musical form is currently blowing up on the underground circuit and quickly gaining respect, along with XXYYXX himself. Released on Relief in Abstract Records, this self titled album is already the second full length release from an emerging producer with a long career of experimentation ahead of him.
Marcel Everett describes his music as "doing drugs on a freeway underwater." There could not be a more accurate description of the psychedelic vessel that is each of his songs. For the most part tracks follow a similar stylistic formula, of sampled voice segments strewn across a hip hop inspired back beat, driving the song insatiably forward. The heavily used voice samples are highly manipulated and sometimes prove inaudible, and blend into the overall entity of the track, providing itself as an instrument at his disposal to ice an already scrumptious beat.
Album opener "About You" wastes no time cracking deep into the essence of XXYYXX, and sets the listener right on track of what to expect throughout. Showers of synth rain from the heavens like fallout, inescapable and manipulating the very DNA of what flows though your speakers, and into your now manipulated mind. Quickly moving and keeping the listener guessing, "Good Enough" entertains with an unexpected sample of TLC's "No Scrubs," making for one of the record's most danceable tracks. While on the more ambient side of things, the aptly named tune "DMT" is entrancing, howling voices widen our eyes into a zombie like obsession where we are no longer in control.
The gorgeous song "Closer" is an irresistible balled of love and longing. Less is definitely more on this track, where only one word is repeated throughout though the song remains deep and formulated. This track best displays Marcel's impeccable sense of rhythmic and musical timing, never loosing control of his implements of expression. How gorgeously succinct, a truly solid statement captured in such few words.
Displaying his stable architecture of soundscapes "Never Leave" is a galactic lullaby. Sprinkled with shimmering chimes of moon dust and twinkling stars, it's enchanting as the night and as beautiful as the static behind your eyelids. From the darkest nights to the brightest of days "Never Leave" stylistically bleeds into the album's final track. "TIED2U" is a wonderful closer and beautiful end to a vivacious excursion through this electronic paradise. The hissing sea rocks you back and fourth, like a boat rolling carelessly over waves, tingling down the back of your spine until you've slipped into oblivion.
It is safe to say XXYYXX has a solid formula that he is working in, mastering, and dominating all at the same time, all the while his margins are constantly widening. His foundation of deriving an attitude from a sample then building a systemic landscape hovering and encircling every tune is second to none. His unmatched exhibition of futuristic music fondles the very stand you've taken on each disconcerting foot. This young artist is just getting started.
1. About You
2. Good Enough
4. Set It Off
8. Closer Forest
10. Never Leave
11. Witching Hour
12. Love Isn’t Made (feat. Steffaloo)