An other-worldly EDM track with dissonant phrases taking turns to sit front and centre in the mix, the intriguingly-named The Roleplay Melody pumps along with an elastic, octave-ing bass line that provides a pretty relentless drive to proceedings.
There’s a charming and beautifully shot accompanying video that heavily suggests that some of the retro stylings within the song should be considered from a rose-tinted and nostalgic viewpoint.
It’s not the most straightforward of listens – there are choral, chant-like phrases which sound like they might be African in origin, which shimmer through the mix in a lo-fi, slightly indistinct way that becomes dreamlike and hypnotic as they grow more familiar. There are also what sound like thin, high-frequency synth and organ lines whistling along at the top of the mix that feel like they were recorded from a tinny transistor radio.
The effect of the whole is an organic mashup of sounds and textures which would not sound out of place in a montage sequence of an action film from the 1980s. This seems even more likely when the saxophone floats in to showcase its sound. It feels like it might be an outtake from Duran Duran’s Rio.
What sets the song apart from being viewed as an exercise in retro charm is the interesting choice of the samples and the snapping rhythm track. The choral sounds could have been curated for WOMAD by Peter Gabriel, and the fact that they don’t fit the chord progression super-snugly is a dissonant and spooky delight.