“Palmbomen was never really about palm trees, it’s about fake palms”, the LA-based producer once told us.
Although it comes from the Dutch word for “palm tree”, Kai Hugo’s work as Palmbomen has always been inspired by the inauthentic. His humid house music channels the spirit of “swimming paradises” in Europe — enclosed wonderlands that advertise the next best thing to a real tropical vacation. As he put it in our interview about his excellent 2015 LP Palmbomen II: “It’s like a fake resort. It’s just this sad version of reality”.
For his new release, Hugo teamed up with friend and likeminded producer Betonkust and actually travelled back to the Center Parcs De Eemhof resort in the Netherlands for inspiration. The result is Center Parcs — an EP that conjures exotica from exotica. Though we already got a taste with the bouncing ’24×33′, Center Parcs comes together like a blissful vacation that lives on only in moldy VHS tapes and faded memories. The highlight is ‘Vermintke Toekan’ which pairs thudding drum patterns with chintzy steel drum loops to create something deeply affecting in its plasticity. Stream it in full below and order it now via 1080p.