This short EP from Templ, leading with the exquisite composition that is Lilac Skies, is the sort of project that conjures up memories or thoughts of some notably specific settings. Whether it strikes you as perfectly well-suited for cinematic accompaniment, the travel scene in some soul-searching movie or TV show, or whether it purely calms your body and your mind enough to travel back through your own story, your own experiences and relationships – whatever the result, the process is blissful, and there are more than a few reasons why this is so.
Lilac Skies has been masterfully crafted, it emerges as a down-tempo trip-hop offering at first, mellow and digitally programmed yet rhythmic and smooth enough to create a mood. Then you get these unexpected flickers of organic guitar, and later vocals, which opens up the moment to a whole host of other realms. These new layers add a level of humanity and intimacy to the music, even purpose – the lyrics whisper melodic, poetic fragments of thought into the room, laying out the fine fragrance that is this piece of music in an all-the-more engaging and beautiful way.
It’s a pleasure putting words to this kind of audio experience, but as always – the only way to really understand it, is to turn up the music and let it wash over you. Absolutely recommended. And the same can be said of Arktos, a similarly stylish and calming groove, a little Morcheeba-like in colour and optimism. Structurally things lean back and forth between intentionally cinematic and simply rhythmic, and this works well – it adds to that impressive sense of character and depth that runs throughout Templ’s music. The half-way point in particular sees a whole new world of vibrancy and complexity burst onto the scene – taking things from gentle to striking and incredibly uplifting.
Dankenstein brings the short but satisfying project to a brilliantly smart finish, with a deep-house, bass-led vibe, and a contrastingly light array of Americana-kissed flickers of guitar. The way the EP balances those dashes of realness with the complexity and professionalism of electronic sound design is beautifully compelling, always unpredictable, and endlessly comforting.
Though the music presents a certain softness by nature, the best way to listen is categorically at volume. This final piece is no exception, raining down around you with a hypnotic air of grace, and a few inspiring, positive thoughts that linger with you after listening.
What a stunning short journey, in a league of its own right now – following its own rules, making you smile, making you feel free from concern. Escapism at is finest. Creativity and professionalism have intertwined to a superb extent, and it pays off in acres. Well worth experiencing.