Canada-based alternative lofi duo PANTōNE VU share with us their new project The Pink Series, which is the fourth entry in their colour-themed EPs. The 6-track body of work truly shows how far producers can push sonic boundaries beyond the norm and give listeners a taste of something new and refreshing. Tracks like “TE-Lab Pink,” are inspired by other eclectic musical artists/synthesists such as Swedish inventor Love Hultén and synthetist Alissa DeRubeis and each track on the EP represents each pink stripe on the album cover.
“TE-Lab Pink” is the first track and it starts off with an introductory message from a default instructor who leads us into this ethereal world filled with magical sounds and textures. The vocal is layered over a sublime and atmospheric soundscape comprised of bright pads, rich arpeggios and soft lead synths that play off one another in perfect unison. “Chelsea Pink” is led by a pulsating bassline and retro-sounding synth pad that slowly builds into a guitar-laden piece with sparse drum grooves. Again, they use archival narration as part of the motif which talks about the emergence of shooting film in color and the ways they go about it. It sure plays into the track’s aesthetics as listeners get a visual sense deriving from the layered production. This is followed by “Tuscadero”, a mellow piece that sounds like lounge music or a theme of a kiddies documentary from the 80s. The track is anchored by a wobbly lead synth, bright and airy pads and soft plucks with a soft drum groove to match. Overall, the track has a nostalgic feeling that takes listeners back in time to a long-lost memory. “Cosmo Pink” starts off with a downtempo drum groove before the engulfing synths come into play and the rise of a gripping bassline that gives the track a natural oomph. The progression is quite dynamic and we get more airy synths and a heavenly horn pass that reminds one of those obscure Japanese jazz records from the late 80s.
The project closes out with “Flamingo” and “Miraval”, two tracks that continue to push the genre-bending approach of the project. “Flamingo” leans on its pop influences with a touch of expressive synth-based folk vibes. The arrangement is layered, and rich but spaced out well enough for each instrument to stand out. From the woozy synths, soft keys, warm guitar plucks and thumping percussions, listeners get a relaxing feeling from the record as it aims to calm the mind. The final track “Miraval” has a solemn and melancholic feel with its moody piano riffs and soft drum break. It’s layered with a vocal snippet that accentuates the colour theme of the project. The track starts off pretty sparse and builds up into a multi-layered piece ripe with atmospheric and airy synths peppered by a sizzling electric guitar riff and bright keys to boot. There is quite a lot to unwrap here but the key here is getting lost in the dreamy feeling the track offers us.
Overall The Pink Series, is as eclectic as they come and challenges musical norms with it’s use of electronic and live instrumentation combined in the most unorthodox manner.
Stream The Pink Series on all DSPs here
Illustration Credit: Finn Harrison