Dutchman Applescal isn’t quite the saviour-in-waiting he was hailed as by some back in 2007, but his beguiling headphone music is still able to impress.
Debuted with 2007’s giddy Untitled Addict EP, Applescal made quite an impact, grabbing the Dutch Grote Prijs award for musical innovation and a fair amount of blog chatter to boot. Two albums for Traum Schallplatten (2009’s A Slave’s Commitment , and 2010’s A Mishmash of Changing Moods) and a rash of EPs followed, tilting between prim techno and shoegazy electronica. We’ve not heard from him since 2011’s digital El Diablo EP, a catchy collection which sounded like Luke Abbott tinkering around with a couple of SID chips.
New LP Dreaming In Key is a much more coherent piece than its predecessors, sticking to smudgy electronica and not really budging. Applescal’s former knack for Extrawelt-style melody/melodrama has also been toned down – the tracks on Dreaming In Key tend to be gauzy rather than catchy. Some of the old reference points are still there – ‘Vintage Clown’ might as well be a Drowning In A Sea Of Love B-side – but it’s a softer, more subtle record. Applescal was barely out of college when he was garlanded with “next-big-thing” titles, and Dreaming In Key shows he’s mellowed with (modest) age.
Dreaming In Key is out today, courtesy of Atomnation.
01 Boys (feat. David Douglas)
02 Lonely People
03 On The Way (feat. Piana)
04 Spring And Life
05 Vintage Clown / Shadow Hunters
06 Thanks For Fun
08 Wise Noise On Time (feat. Lanny May)
09 El Diablo (Live Version)
10 The Composer
11 Keep On Dreaming