Neon Island is the second album of equatorial chillwave electronica from Atlanta based Robel Synthesia.
It's a progression from his first album, defining his sound into something different to the tropical daze feelings permeating strains of the subgenre in the forms of bands such as Ducktails, USF (Previously Universal Studios Florida) and Gala Drop. There's a golden heat-haze shimmer that characterises much of the album that starts warming up straight from first balmy delay soaked track Sun Rave, whose languid vocal sample of 'Yeah yeah' melts in and out of the mix in intervals. The album's concept follows the course of a day from dawn 'til sundown, so as the suns rays start to burn into the earth so too do the tempos of the tracks that chart its progress. Ultra Magic Leaf, surely an ode to that first smoke of the day, follows it by bringing the beats; a clipped triplet marching towards the high sun of midday lead by a reverbed synth line, wordless (or at least indecipherable) vocodered voice and glittering melody. Beach Chairs gets blasted again, slowing things down to a foggy smoked out drone, then on to Rainforest Kiss with its lush wavering backdrop of animal sounds and synths picked across by a thoughtfully pretty lead. Citrus Sunset's conga shuffle heralds the twilight hours along with a soaring voice that leads into the faster Liquid Stars and down tempo again into the dreamily atmospheric Moon Potion.
Here's the artist's self-made video to go with Rainforest Kiss.
As with Indica Float, this is almost incessantly listenable anytime album that I find myself putting on at all hours. Robel still has some way to go before his songwriting and production matches that of Washed Out, but his ambition and ideas are apparent and he may only be a side-chained compression mix away from achieving it.
Robel Synthesia: Neon Island - DOWNLOAD