/ 7 October 2011

Precious minimalism

Precious Minimalism

Washed Out — Within and Without (Just Music)

Not surprisingly, Washed Out, aka Ernest Greene, had been around for all of three years before he made it to South African iPods.

Within and Without, although his first full-length album, is his second release.

The previous one, an extended play titled Life of ­Leisure, which he made on a laptop in his bedroom in his parents’ Georgia house, became a fast hit in the United States.

Greene has been hailed as a pioneer of the “chillwave” genre, a sound that is unashamedly feel-good and maximises the joyful riffs that will remind you of childhood ­summers eating ice cream next to the pool.

Greene is 27 and a qualified librarian. His music career began when he failed to find a job in his chosen career and his MySpace page was quickly picked up by some hardcore music bloggers.

He is a success story of the internet generation, gaining success by means of word-of-keyboard.

Precious minimalism
Within and Without was produced by Ben Allen, who helped Animal Collective with its sound on ­Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The album sounds economically but carefully made.

There is a precious minimalism about the care with which Greene makes use of the synthesizer and ­percussion.

Amor Fati,
which reminds me of the title track from the film The ­Neverending Story, is a beautiful Sunday afternoon hangover cure of flourishing melody and is enhanced by the video, an infrared view of a slow-motion Nineties’ rave.

It’s great “alone” music with big headphones, but also perfect for the beginning or ending of a party.

If you’re listening to Neon Indian, Tory Y Moi or Small Black, you should be listening to Washed Out. It’ll make you feel like summer on acid.