smile not and mjeam collaborate to a beautiful end with this latest and aptly titled release Tranquility. Sometimes the finely crafted nature of a track lets it need no introduction, no words of encouragement beyond a simple ‘press play’ – absolutely the case with this song.
Tranquility takes its time to kick in, laying the foundation with a vintage style spoken word recording – a somewhat historical yet fictional conversation, offering up some guidance; an outline of ideas that might keep your mind working in a particular way later on. For the most part though, what gets to you is the thick warmth of that bass-line alongside the contrasting lightness and space above it. A simple melody, a calming groove, and a select few lyrics – this is all that’s needed in order to get things moving and to hold your interest and affection until the end.
The concept implied is that of peacefulness without possessions – the idea that these ‘things’ we collect and value throughout our lives are perhaps not the key to genuine tranquility; even that they’re often a hindrance to it. Once this idea is suggested, once that seed is planted, the subsequent melody and the gentleness with which it’s presented work beautifully in cementing these thoughts and possibilities within the listener. Then as the bass and the beat hit, as these fragments of distant conversation reappear, intertwined in the outer layers, and as the melody evolves and rightfully resolves – the whole thing grows to connect in an even more memorable and immersive fashion.
It’s a stunning track, really – the sort of underground hit that would have quietly made waves not too long ago; perhaps among the likes of Zero 7 and Portishead. An easy one to lose yourself within and to return to again and again. Superb production means that high volumes really let those emotional intricacies stand tall.