Short Wave Craft’s debut EP, “Panties & Pickles” is simply amazing. The groove rhythm of the bass perfectly melds with the guitar and keyboard textured melodies as they are surrounded by a thumping drum beat that takes you to journey into another world. Each song is a distinction of its own. Based between London, Prague and Berlin, Producer Dominic Owen, and underground musician Thomas Carr’s spaced-out sound absorbs influences from the cultural landscapes of their pan European setup, paying particular homage to laid back 70’s funk, 80’s electronica and vintage sampling.
Sculpting real instrumentation alongside refined electronics, Short Wave Craft draw inspiration from classic American & Japanese film soundtracks. Musical art is the way musicians decorate space and time, and Short Wave Craft generates a sense of spaciousness, serenity, and creative freedom. Listening to “Panties & Pickles” you feel an overriding sense of connection to something tangible but inexplicable. The EP truly has a universal feel to it, as it is not grounded to any particular time period or style, except the chill instrumentals.
But reducing this music to chill instrumentals is a disservice to the elegant creativeness of Short Wave Craft. This music really is its own unique, vivid world and its meditative undertone allows you to really let go and explore where the music can take you. “Cadillac” sets a perfect tone for the EP as you’re tethered to the groove on Short Wave Craft’s hushed but direct rhythm while you float along in the atmosphere to the warm, buzzed tones.
“Noisy Sound” is tender and intoxicating, as the high-whistling flourishes on the keys mingle with the bubbling bass lines. The song has that rare quality of being able to be played in a loop without it growing old. It just spins with the tranquility of its groove as time becomes indefinite and we become connected to the farthest reaches of Short Wave Craft’s sonic universe.
The title track, “Panties & Pickles” mixes strumming, shuffling, and soulful instrumentation between some late night ambient strings, conjuring up a silken smooth jam. Somehow, it all makes sense, a chunk of music that delights in a rich, spacious gorgeousness. This gem of a record is like walking inside a peaceful glass. Everything seems smooth and relaxed, and you can really think. Stress seems to drip out of your body, and you can just relax and ride to the music.
Its obvious Dominic Owen and Thomas Carr have a deep love and respect for all of their musical influences. The EP often slides by, frictionless, on grooves and instrumentation that sound like they’ve been doused in honey, don’t be tricked for a moment into thinking that it qualifies as easy listening. Short Wave Craft’s EP is a subtle constellation of 4 movements and highly nuanced arrangements that unfold seamlessly.
Even as “Northern Winds” hypnotizes us, slinking forward on the weightlessness of crisp drums and rolling bass figures, it reveals many levels of melody and an elegant rhythm beneath its soothing surface.
With a sound that’s built around a stew of hip-hop, breaks, chillout, electronic, and global music influences, Short Wave Craft is tough to put into one box, as their music is spacious, accessible and dynamic. Quite an amalgam of reference points, the dreamy, head-nodding rhythms, and gentle melodicism makes for something which commands repeat-play. On “Panties & Pickles”, Dominic Owen and Thomas Carr progress well beyond the standard formula.