Shanti Celeste – Tangerine
- Kate Walker
- 4 November 2019
DJ and producer's first full-length album is buoyant and playful
A buoyancy and warmth imbues the musical output of the Chilean-born, London/Bristol-based DJ and producer Shanti Celeste. Tangerine, Celeste's first full-length album, due to be released on her own imprint Peach Discs, maintains the elated, four-to-the-floor, Detroit-inspired grooves of her previous EPs, with an experimental, citrusy twist.
More club-friendly tracks are surrounded by ambient space, something Celeste has dabbled in before. Opener 'Sun Notification' is an expansive soundscape, like dawn breaking over a stretching wetland plain. Chirping synths perforate the broad horizontal strokes, evocative of Brian Eno's Ambient 4: On Land. This serenity gives way with the smacking bassline of 'Infinitas', heightening the impact of its urgency which rests on a glowy pillow of synths. Playful timbral work and auxiliary percussion pepper the album: pinging claves on 'May the Day' and rippling kalimba (recorded at her father's home in Chile) on 'Natura' and 'Moons'.
The urgency continues with the contagious shuffle of 'Sesame', and fast, itchy breaks of 'Want', which features the iconic Korg M1 organ preset made famous by early-90s pop-dance hits like 'Show Me Love' by Robin S. This tautness could be compared to recent releases from other artists such as Floating Points and Four Tet, and is an aesthetic described by academic Robin James in her blogpost on 'Brexit Techno' as exactly the antithesis to 'chill-for-productivity lofi hip hop study beats'. This isn't background music, but an expression of frustration at the mess of the current political world, proposing partying as the solution. Dance therapy.
Celeste found the album format emancipating: 'When I made music for EPs, sometimes I felt restricted,' she says. 'I would think too much about creating the moments on the dancefloor I love – seeing visions of ecstatic people hugging, I didn't give myself free reign to express all of myself. Writing an album made me feel free of all this because it seemed like an open-ended project. I could just keep creating until I felt like stopping'.
Out Fri 15 Nov on Peach Discs.