Sloslylove’s Haunted Grooves
chillwave producer goes dark and sensual for latest
“The process is the same; just keep making.”
For Feng Vue, his new sloslylove record is business as usual. Fitting then, that that business is fixing to take flight … quite literally.
Earlier this month, the Eau Claire musician took a plane out west to play a handful of big shows in San Diego and Del Mar, Calif., as well as Encenada and Tijuana, Mexico – all expenses paid.
“The mini tour was by chance,” Vue said. “If people love your music enough, they’re gonna invite you out, I guess.”
And the timing really couldn’t be better; Vue put out The Haunted, digitally, on cassette, and on 12” vinyl, just two days before his set at El Camino in San Diego.
At times chilly, at times warm, the full-length is equal parts murky and tender – a slight departure from the more sunny, groove-laden chillwave of 2012’s Tendencies. On The Haunted, bass notes that used to gulp and chug along are stretched out so they hum down below, creating some anxious friction.
Take “Can’t Let Go,” the breezy standout second track. It’s appropriate that Vue is wrapping up his Southwest mini-tour at press time, because the track could be playing over the closing shot in a happy-ending movie from the ’80s where some Tom Cruise-type drives away from his problems, windows down along the Pacific coast as the background of palm trees dissolves into the dipping sun. And there’s warm catharsis.
“I get (inspiration) from my friends. They’re all makers of everything. I also play a lot of Street Fighter III and Ultra Street Fighter IV, so that’s inspiration, too.” – Feng Vue on what inspires the chunky electro tunes on his new LP, The Haunted
But then you get to “Lurker” – appropriately named – where things get real swampy and sticky. All the pop gloss precedent set by the upbeat “Your Love” is washed away, and you’re left with a thudding bass line, muted drums, and an audio sample from (after extensive Googling, mind you) Secret Admirer, a 1985 teen romance flick starring someone named C. Thomas Howell.
“Those clips are from the worst lovey-dove movies,” Vue said. “I don’t know why I put myself through the torture of watching those films all the time.”
Perhaps begrudging, he clearly has an affinity for the cheesy glitz of ’80s pop culture, which arrives most obviously in the audio samples he procures, but also in the heavily flanged guitar tones, fuzzy synth pads, and hard-hitting snare raps.
“I get (inspiration) from my friends. They’re all makers of everything,” Vue said. “I also play a lot of Street Fighter 3 and Ultra Street Fighter 4, so that’s inspiration too. Girls are my number one inspiration, though.”
That last part is definitely true; there’s nary a male voice on the entire record. Whether it’s sampled spoken audio or breathy chopped and screwed singing, it’s almost 100 percent female. You’d almost think there’s a second member in sloslylove, some smoky mystery woman who hops in and makes the beats shine with sensuality and warmth.
But that’s just what makes Vue such a thoughtful and clever producer. Every element of every track is meticulously purposeful. Nearly every song on The Haunted feels simultaneously like cozy daylight and a brisk city night; it’s comfortable and loose, but dark.
With unwavering technique and execution – not to mention the inevitable oncoming blog buzz – sloslylove might not have to land anytime soon.
To pay what you like for the digital version, buy a cassette or vinyl of The Haunted, visit sloslylove.bandcamp.com.