POTW (2019/33): Refreshing Electronica

This week’s Playlist of the Week is Jeff Haight’s Refreshing Electronica. Jeff is an electronic musician from Michigan, and performs under the name Cesium Swimsuit. I should also mention that Jeff curates the Beat Sessions show on Frission Music, so is actively involved in helping underground music get heard.

For a taste of Cesium Swimsuit’s music, check out his beautiful track Insomnia, which is on the playlist. It’s a confection of clean, atmospheric guitars floating above a spacious ambient IDM backdrop, with hints of Boards of Canada et al. I feel like I’ve found something of a kindred spirit here: Jeff’s work and his track selection on this playlist really suit my musical taste. (He’s also made me want to get my guitar out!)

The playlist overall has a similar tone to Jeff Haight’s own work as Cesium Swimsut: this is intoverted, thoughtful music. Beat-driven, sometimes soothing and gentle, sometimes dissonant and slightly off-balance, it could make for pleasant late-night driving music.

Sleepless and Stellar

The choices of tracks on the playlist include some contemporary electronica favourites, such as Bonobo’s Cirrus, Tycho’s Jetty, and Helios’s Bless This Morning Year. Other stellar appearances on this list include Jon Hopkins, Air and Four Tet. I’ve also been pleased to discover tracks by unfamiliar artists, such as Sun Glitters, Danky and Asleep Within Waves. There’s also a sprinkling of pieces from artists in the Sleepless Collective (Cesium Swimsuit is a member): Richard Alfaro, Synesthete and Tainsus.

My stand out tracks in Refreshing Electronica have been difficult to pick. Ignoring the more familiar tracks from big name artists, here are some of the best bits. First up, I’ve picked Frythm’s Lets Make It Work, because it grabbed my attention every listen, reminding me of James Blake with less jazz and more EDM influence. Next, Manatee Commune & Effee’s I Can Dream stands out for its gentle African percussive backing and harmonies.¬†Finally, Bobbing’s Yaskool deserves a mention as a joyful meeting of funk and IDM.

Duration: 2h 9min, 30 songs.

Rating: U.

Best for: Late-night driving or working.