Games: “That We Can Play” (Hippos In Tanks)
What a weird little EP this is… featuring the collaborative efforts of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Joel Ford (Tigercity), Games indulges a full-on dive into 80s nostalgia. It’s full-on mid-tempo Italo-disco throwback on every track here. Laurel Halo contributes guest vocals to the first track, “Strawberry Skies,” which gives it even more of that 80s mid-tempo dancefloor quality, lots of reverb on everything, thick mid-range synths and drum programming abound. If I didn’t know these tracks were recent, I’d actually assume that any one of them is vintage 80s, and I mean that in the best possible way. While an act like Wild Nothing used the mid-80s production sound as a gimmick, here it’s so immersive that it feels like more than homage or schtick — it’s more like a philosophy. Each track is rife with anonymous, overcompressed samples and woozy synths and reverbed percussion, coming across like one of Tony Scott’s gratuitous foggy hazes from The Hunger combined in a puree with assorted failed 80s pop dreams. Word on the street is that Scott Herren (Prefuse 73) will be mixing Games’ next full album (under the new name Lopatin & Ford), which I’m extremely curious about. Despite any reservations one may have about hipster culture’s current preoccupation with things all mediocre and mid-80s, there is something quite charming about Games’ music herein, well worth a listen, even with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Watch/listen: Strawberry Skies