BENEDEK: KUSHEL EP
Benedek’s moody and chic new offering (in anticipation of his spring tour through Korea, China, and Japan) is a pastiche of travel-themed textures built from his characteristically flowery synth tones and playful drum machine patterns. There is a potent sort of momentum moving through these five finely crafted tracks that suggests the feeling of being swept from place to fascinating new place, and though its tempos do slow enough to let you catch your breath—to dub out, and take it all in—Kushel feels sharp and focused in its execution. Benedek’s synthesizer tones tend toward a certain clarity and brightness, and on the album’s aptly titled centerpiece “Climbing Vines,” they intermingle with a deep, organic trumpet moan and a warbling melodica to evoke the solemn peace only an undisturbed natural plantscape can really convey. The EP is not without its night moods; the arguable high water mark, “Ethereal Burns” deposits the listener into a sexy, dusky rave with a sultry bass line and collage of artificial drum machinations—it’s the heart of a party too succulent to cut short. However, the vibe shifts into a pensive morning-after dub for the album’s closer, “Psylovybe,” leaving the listener basking in the afterglow of the whirlwind—as international travel tends to do.