Greeen Linez - Things That Fade
I'm a big believer in the perfect album cover. The perfect album cover should convey what is to be found inside, or, if not, should at least make some sort of symbolic statement. Greeen Linez have got their aesthetics down. A simplistic blue horizon, a palm tree peaking from the left, retrograde Californian typography…
Under the artwork is an audio perception of such, a soundtrack to the fuzzy VHS of your favourite 80s sitcom. It sounds like sun-kissed West-coast scenery, beat-boxing bros, ladies with sharp shoulders and lipstick that's just a tad too bright.
Greeen Linez are Chris Greenberg (of Hong Kong In The 60s) and Matt Lyne, co-founder of the Diskotopia label from which Greeen Linez release. The collaboration's first effort, Things That Fade is dripping in California soul, a record to be found in the tape-player of an open-top Cadillac cruising down a breezy boulevard. But it doesn't stop there.
Opener 'March 12th Street' waves in and out of a tranquil retro jam, carried by an underlying jazz that wouldn't be out of place in the opening credits of a 90s New York sitcom. The light electronica fills that hidden nook chillwave wanted to go but couldn't fit.
Blissed-out Balearic is distorted on 'Palm Coast Freeway', resulting in the sort of music we used to hear over commercial stills when the TV stations shut down for the night. While a lot of the sounds found on here are nostalgic in a sense, it's more of a modern creation that simply conjures the atmosphere of times gone by, not lazily reminiscent of our own past experiences. Hints of oriental chimes and riffs strike throughout the record, a nod to Toyko-based Lyne's influences in living in such a consuming city.
Japan or LA? City or suburban beach? 80s jazz or 90s house? Why not everything? ‘Courtside Daydreams' is a group of smiling kids, sitting courtside, shuffling their shoulders under the pastel colours of the California sun, while 'Hibiscus Pacific' is the most attention-grabbing track. A dream of romantic jazz undertones and heavier electro beats struggling to break through the aquatic layer of wistful synths. You just want to swing your cap back and groove around a boom box, or maybe chip a jet-ski across a clear ocean. Getting the picture yet?
The latter part of the record, night begins to fall. 'Fantasy Guide' is darker, with a sense of urgency to it. Get off the beach and into the clubs. As evident on 'Cubic Mentality', there's a lot taken from 90s rave, while remaining synth-heavy with a lower tempo than one would expect. That's the thing about this record; no one is going anywhere fast. Just chill, your stress will still be there tomorrow.
With a slap drum and a whistle, the track almost takes a nature tone, beginning to sound like wildlife after dark--crickets, birds, while a club is banging next door. It's an interesting composition and take on the general concept of night.
'City Cell 1' is their take on minimalist beats. There's a mysterious quality to it, sound-tracking a night-time invasion of one of those cutting-edge apartments overlooking the Tokyo skyline. The sort where the fridge talks to you and all surfaces are immaculately white, while 'Frisk' simply sounds like a race on Mario Cart's rainbow road.
There aren't many vocals, but why would they be needed? The record almost tells a story by itself. 'Lift Off's DX7 reverb funk has a fuzzy quality to it, as if recorded on to a cassette but later re-mastered. Deeply electronic one minute, delicate chimes the next, with spacious beats stretched to their limits under the steady riffs and left to echo until they disappear.
Greeen Linez have made a pretty inoffensive record, manipulating discreet sounds that write a Bret Easton Ellis screenplay in your mind. There aren't many blissful beaches here, but Things That Fade is the type of stuff that would soundtrack a good session of staring mindlessly at a wall and it would still be pleasant.