On a brisk day in October 1986, science fiction maestro Ray Bradbury stated, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” Now, such a phrase was uttered in the midst of Bradbury’s one-day symposium on ‘Future Style’ at the University of California, Irvine, but his words continue to ring resolutely in the face of entrepreneurship and directional creativity. Bradbury’s excerpt wrenches at the heart of any individual with a desire to turn a dream into a concept- and to then further that concept into reality with fiery determination. Such an approach can be seen throughout the history of human creativity from the moment that humankind first spun wool to the latest editions of smart technology, and it is a mindset that producer Slushii is keen on tapping in to with his latest release Find Your Wings. Packed full of modern dance stylization and wobbly synergy, Slushii’s Find Your Wings is a riveting adventure in the producer’s energetic efforts in contemporary dance/electronic music.
If there is one key component that Slushii steadfast retains from his catalogue, it is his penchant for high-peaking energy. Such a desirable move may not be first noticeable upon first play of the opening track “No More,” but his contemporary electronic take on easy-gradation, built on anecdotal lyrics, quickly gives way to his predilection for furious hard-style bass drops that can satisfy even the pickiest of dubheads. From there on in, Find Your Wings truly begins to take flight, embarking on a journey through airwaves of instrumental wonk and wobble. Layers of contemporary synth-saws and soaring atmospherics such as those found in “Fired Up” purvey the course of Slushii’s brand of EDM, each accentuated by a firm, sometimes minimalistic 4/4 backbeat at a BPM that could induce heart palpitations. From there, Slushii’s true aural assault begins. By mid-album Slushii begins to examine and expand upon the breadth of his bass-enriched wingspan. Previously tempered instrumentation swan-dives into relentless onslaughts of zany, whiplash-inducing bass drops that are most predominantly felt in “Where I’m At” and “Level Up,” featuring frequent tropes of rough-sampled cuts into gritty, jaw clenching heaviness that pounds at your eardrums like jack hammers to pavement. Perhaps what makes Slushii so interesting as a producer is his remarkable ability to relentlessly create blood-pumping drops and breaks that maintain the same enthusiastic dynamicism without sacrificing integrity, as each track- no matter how formulaic it may appear- inherently retains its individuality- a quality that surmounts Find Your Wings. However, Slushii’s creative jests and jabs far from climaxes at the bass line. Explorations in fusing different electronic styles into EDM abound this dense 7-track-long album, with influences of hardstyle techno and breakbeat found in the foundations of “Bow Down;” cut-throat tech-house are laid as the backbone of the undeniably bouyant “Bounce;” flecks and flourishes of the arena-style atmospherics of hard trance at the heart of the closing track “Find Your Wings.” From start to finish, Find Your Wings is every bit as zany and whiplash-inducing as one may hope to find in an eccentric exploration of a producer such as Slushii’s caliber.
Though Find Your Wings is hinged on a multitude of perks, it does not go without a few ruffled feathers. One of the most glaring issues is that his lyrics- often just a repeated single refrain- can be easily thrown away. The verbiage is as drab and lackluster as most other contemporary EDM. Thankfully, Slushii’s production style hardly focuses on lyrical content, which is what saves each track. The only interests that can be taken in his lyrical content rest solely in the quick edits and cuts in his breakdowns, which only weigh as much as their erraticism can allot for. Another noticeable issue is that each track follows precisely the same crescential flow. I will admit, we would not call it computer music if it was not formulaic, but Find Your Wings is in of itself an overarching crescendo that expands and contracts just as the muscles of wings would. It would preferably follow that the cartilage of Slushii’s pinions were not also based upon a phrase ad repetend, as the patterned gradation lose its luster. Such a flaw would completely clip Find your Wings if, and only if, Slushii did not actively take certain production measures to craft varying layers of wonky textures within his drops and experiment with blending various styles- a skill set in which his own creative passions are most audibly felt and carry the weight of the album.
Overall, Find Your Wings is a marvelous exposition on the intrinsic value of a solo trajectory through contemporary EDM. Zany and zealous; graceful and grave, Find Your Wings is a soaring flight of musicality that is destined for anything and everything. Effortlessly light and torrentially fierce, the album is a substantial 7-track exploit in erratic, limb-flailing fun. From arrangement to production- and every level of processing in between, Slushii’s breadth of knowledge and creative ingenuity is an ever-expansive projection of what it means to plummet and climb as he competes in the struggle towards advancement in his genre. Feet planted firmly, arms open wide, Slushii’s Find Your Wings stands on the precipice of passion- all that is needed is the Bradbury-inspired urge to leap forward. (Katt Hass)
Beer Pairing: Alpine Beer Company – Keene Idea: A hop-manic album deserves a uniquely hop-fueled beverage to accompany it. Such is the pairing of Slushii’s Find Your Wings with Alpine Beer Company’s Keene Idea. A Double IPA, this pungent beer is crafted with Citra, Nelson Sauvin, and Rakau hops + All Golden malts. The result is a complex and rich array of bitterness, citrus, and hints of rye. It’s as Californian as California-strange gets- a perplex characteristic that Slushii’s Find Your Wings is no stranger to.
For Fans Of: NGHTMRE, San Holo, Marshmello