- Don't expect sunny house—Tangerine expertly weaves through electro, Autonomic drum & bass and 140 BPM swingers.
- Since debuting as a producer six years ago, Shanti Celeste's output could mostly be described as bouncy, summery club music. To give two examples, there was the housey two-track EP that launched her Peach Discs label in 2017 and the laidback, 808-driven electro of the Future Times-released "Strung Up." Dancing between these sort of styles, Celeste's work has long been bound by shimmering melodies and pads reminiscent of the kind of '90s Detroit techno you might catch in one of her DJ sets. They can also be heard across much of Tangerine, her debut album, from the bassline-driven warmth of an early highlight, "Infinitas," to the sparse, kalimba-aided ambience on "Moons."
But Celeste sets her sights further than ever. "When I made music for EPs, sometimes I felt restricted," she's said. "I would think too much about creating the moments on the dance floor I love." With the breathing room of a full-length to play with, she breaks out of those confines. The opener, "Sun Notification," is a graceful ambient cut, resplendent with pitch-shifted vocal samples and tranquil waves of synth. The kalimba, recorded at Celeste's family home in Chile, pops up again on "Natura." A brief, 90-second interlude takes cues from the kind of Japanese ambient and new age music found on the Spencer Doran-curated Kankyō Ongaku compilation.
Tangerine also features Celeste's speediest club cuts to date. "Want" and "Sesame," at 140 BPM, rebut the old adage that faster equals harder. The former is a breakbeat-driven house roller that offsets whirring, alarm-like synths with a starry-eyed, Korg M1 chord pattern. "Sesame," with its swung drums, shifting hi-hats and placid pads, is one of Celeste's most striking club tracks yet, her own chopped-up vocal intonations serving as an extra melodic tool. "Aqua Block" finds her circling back on the electro drum patterns of past productions, its minor key machine sounds pushed to the background by playful synths and gorgeous, expansive pads.
As she's noted herself, Tangerine is the sound of Celeste no longer having to keep peak-time dance floors at the front of her mind. The 85 BPM "Voz (Instrumental)" is primed for a party's earliest hours, calling to mind the half-time Autonomic sound pioneered by producers like dBridge and Instra:mental. "May The Day," with its electro rhythms and bassline, should be one of the album's straighter club tracks, but at three minutes long, it forgoes the standard intro and outro structure designed to attract DJ play. By carefully balancing these ideas with unambiguous dance floor moments, Tangerine hits the sweet spot that many of the best electronic albums occupy.
02. Sun Notification
04. May The Day
07. Voz (Instrumental)
08. Slow Wave
09. Aqua Block