Atlanta’s premier synthpop group cultureculture offers their most expansive and satisfying work to date in their sophomore EP JX-3Please.
In JX-3Please, cultureculture allows more room for exploration. All of the tracks are near in length (or longer) than the longest track from their self-titled debut. The textures are airier and the overall experience is more spaced-out. As the band experiments in a galaxy of both nostalgic and future sound, they manage to keep their focus; they’ve merely refocused on the present, seizing each moment as it happens and letting the songs move how they please.
Opener “Got2F33L” may have a title that’s a music journalist’s nightmare, but it’s the dream come true of 80’s enthusiasts and champions of the 80’s wave-pop Renaissance. A slightly-misleading throwback sound byte leads the track, but it’s soon cast aside for a groovy synth hook. “Ashton Kutcher, Come Back” jolts the listener with a jumpy rhythm and puts them to ease with the smooth vocal stylings in the verses.
The EP’s centerpiece and standout track — “1138” — is an over-the-top ode to retro stylings, indulging in prominent bass riffs, guitar highlights, and all the drum fills you could want. Capping off the track is an enormous instrumental breakdown — a technique that appears in other tracks and is delightful every time.
“RGB” is a midtempo jam that takes a more restrained approach to dance-y beats. “Stranger” literally winds down the EP, closing the release with a bassline that slowly decreases in tempo, ending with a drone and disparate bass snaps. It’s a clever ending for a clever EP that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The EP’s only struggle is its density. While some of the tones aren’t as sharp as before, there are just a lot of tones stuffed into a small space. It would be hard to listen to a similarly structured full-length without multiple milder tracks like “Stranger” thrown in the mix. In keeping with the space analogies, JX-3Please plumbs a galaxy when it could have just stuck with a solar system.
All that being said, the latest from cultureculture is the dance party where all the cool kids are going. It’s nostalgic and exhausting, but it’s still invigorating and just a straight-up good time.
Check out cultureculture out the following links, and be sure to pick up JX-3Please when it drops tomorrow.