The [Gold Mixtape] breezes by with its punchy exp-electronic reflections and genre-crossing that somehow just works.
A focused collaborative vocal effort coming from multi-talented, Denver-based Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens. Always one to construct and deconstruct a myriad of soundwaves, JWS doesn’t settle for just one genre. The vocal tint on The [Gold Mixtape]—inspired by DJ Charlie Buckett’s original Golden Ticket Mixtape—is upfront and carefully smeared as a smorgasbord of downtempo instrumental lounge-pop electronics and leftfield acoustic shoegaze. But that doesn’t even begin to describe The [Gold Mixtape], a branch-off album from an artist who usually releases with Denver’s long-running Plastic Sound Supply imprint. JWS has gone solo, so to speak. And what a sonic trek it is.
Sampling various sources throughout, a robust vintage audio-collage bounces back and forth on these 13-tracks. It’s easy to get lost in the recordings as they are at times nostalgic and acoustically engaging. “No No WiFi” emits an Ulrich Schnauss leftfield-techno flare as “My House” has a sort of Syntax versus Crisopa electronic-shoegaze feel, the vocals are blissfully consuming. The short running “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is an experimental low-end throb of electroacoustic perfection. “Snow Drift” is choke full of synthesizer-driven ambient bleeps that ebb and flow with light analog squiggles. “Second Story Man” is a darkened cluster of screeching modular activity, heavy percussion and simply a highlight for The [Gold Mixtape]. “Chucky Jesus Token” takes a step back into classic-era dark-hop terrain (ref. Amon Tobin, Witchman et al). Head-bobbing “Division (remix)”—an original by Land Lines—is a catchy and accessible techno-pop tune with a rawness and focus meant for summer night drives. The album breezes by with its punchy exp-electronic reflections and genre-crossing that somehow just works. While reference points to many musicians are ever-present, JWS draws from an abundance of creative ideas and follows through from start to end.
The [Gold Mixtape] is a hard-copy limited edition CD with handcrafted gold lettering by Jade Hurst (FromBrooklynWLove) embedded into the jewel-case spine with the music emanating from a gold-colored compact disc. Digital is also available, but the tangible goods are minimal, original and deserving of a good home.
The [Gold Mixtape] is available on Bandcamp.