Chicago artist and producer Miles Erickson aka 212ceilingface, shares his new project SUGARDEMOS, a 13-track body of work that blends unfiltered storytelling, and surreal soundscapes underpinned by nonconforming melodic performances.

The project starts with “RIVER”, a cinematic track built on distorted guitar arrangements and cinematic synths that weave into each other seamlessly. 212ceilingface employs many vocal styles ranging from mellow melodic runs, impassioned and slightly autotuned raps and off-kilter songwriting that explores his own losses and inner demons. This is followed by the dark and ominous “SORRY…” which sees the artist reflecting on the way some people perceive him and instead of congratulating, they are hating. The production here is cinematic and experimental and the use of distortion effects is quite prevalent and can be grating at times but overall it makes it different from anything out there. On “ZION”, the production switches a bit into a thumping drum break-driven track underpinned by ominous synths and bravado-driven raps that talk about loyalty and his partner who is down for the action.

 

“CHINA WHITE” starts off with a throwback vocal sample talking about Christmas before switching to an atmospheric and trippy beat. 212ceilingface’s vocals come into play close to the 1-minute point and continue on with a nonchalant melodic drawl and vivid lyricism that dwells on a story about a high roller doing underhanded things in the neighbourhood amongst other tales. “NO RUSH” sees the artist employing a pop-infused melodic style with emo-trap aesthetics. The production here is quite enthralling and it’s made up of dark arpeggios and synth pads that somehow drown out the vocals at certain points. The track switches up towards the end with thick drums and melancholic sound designs. “KORINE INTERLUDE” is a medley of sounds that are taken from different sources and layered together. The track is sublime and somewhat surreal for the most part and the use of rousing cinematic pads gives it an extra scenic element. This leads to “TAMMI 23”, another vivid storytelling track that takes listeners into 212ceilingface’s life and the many events that shaped his thoughts as a young man. His melodies are usually engaging and the way he incorporates them into the engulfing synth-driven soundscape is quite ingenious.

 

“INFOMERCIAL” is another track that showcases 212ceilingface’s versatility and nonconformist musical style. The track starts off mellow with subtle vocal samples before building up into off-beat kicks, glitchy sounds and distorted vocals. His vocals don’t come into play until later and once again, the short performance is off-beat and distinct. “COKE” is underpinned by a rich synth/brass stab and crisp bassline with punchy drums. The sample of Pimp C’s vocals here sound somewhat drowned out by the engulfing backdrop and the telephone-like effects on the vocals. It also has a tinge of future funk but for the most part, its rousing arrangement alludes to the title. “HDBNGR” starts off with a nostalgia-inducing pad and progresses into a sparsely arranged bouncy drum and layered textures and an unknown vocalist who peppers the track with some soothing melodies. “FRIENDS 22” is a heartfelt track that dwells on loyalty and how a once strong friendship devolved into hatred. 212ceilingface again employs his distinct melodic style and nonchalant cadence to full effect. The production is dark, ominous and edgy too. The project closes out with “HIT THE SAME” and “PENNIES”, The former is as surreal as they come and 212ceilingface delivers a rage-fuelled rap performance over the drumless scenic backdrop while the latter has a rich and moody texture with soft vocal samples that are underpinned by downtempo grooves.

 

Overall SUGARDEMOS, is quite cohesive, off-kilter and fully experimental from start to finish. It’s hard to box it into one genre as 212ceilingface uses elements from trap, dark pop, R&B with extensive sound design techniques to create his own sound that is far from the norm.

 

 

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