It’s rare for an electronic music producer to create an album that so beautifully showcases and melds with vocals, but The Human Experience’s latest EP Soul Visions succeeds in just that, creating something that would have to be called “folktronica.” The EP is a collaboration with Rising Appalachia, a sister led group out of New Orleans who lend their sonorous and sensual vocals to the EP. They sound as if they’ve literally stepped out of another era of boxcars, front porch swings, and moonshine, but are backed up by exotic instruments like the m’bala and djembe. The product of their collaboration is a journey into the dark and humid depths of the aural Deep South, and trust me, you will not be disappointed.
The first track on the EP is “Swoon,” a deep sexy bass masterpiece that literally makes you swoon. The dull thumping bass line with the soft shimmer of high hats in “Mississippi” serve as the perfect backdrop for this aural foray and go even deeper into the Southern corners of our consciousness. Rising Appalachia’s nostalgia is contagious, and you end up feeling a longing for a lazy day on the side of a slowly churning mud colored river that never existed.
The twangy strings in “Pretty Little Foot” are reminiscent of the creak of a front porch swing during a West Virginia sunset. However the electronic undertones mean it could just as easily be a sunset over the Playa.
“Downtown” throws you immediately into a New Orleans summer romance. The acoustic bass strings set the pace as the sultry sisters of Rising Appalachia invite you to take them downtown. As you cruise down the jazz filled streets and step over sidewalk cracks riddled with weeds, you almost forget that you’re in the realm of electronic music until the smooth vocals are chipped and chopped into a reverb reminder. The jazz deepens as a lone horn sings out of a dark alley, and you follow it down into the sonorous depths of the track.
“Nobody’s Fault” is so full of soul it feels as if it originated as a chain gang chant or stepped out of Django Unchained, until the sweeping build up that drops you deeper into the vocals. The depth of this track is entirely showcased by the deep rhythms The Human Experience has created around the vocals, and his build ups are masterfully crafted without being overpowering.
“Sunu” has a decidedly different feel to it and rips you out of the Deep South and transports you to the other side of the world, with its tropically infused beats and chanting. The beat of the djembe and the chanting of the sisters transport you to a remote village in Mali where a young girl named Sunu loved to dance at festivals. She was such a lovely dancer that the local djembe troupe created this rhythm for in her honor. The EP wraps up with a beautiful acoustic version of “Swoon.”
Soul Visions stands out in the EDM-scape as an organic and folk driven experience that resonates, and when it drops on June 17th, you will be entranced.