Chill Out, Not Zone Out: Nightkites – Drones EP

Music has always been defined by the environment it is consumed in. From the cathouses of jazz to the abandoned tenements of hip hop. But as music has been digitised we have seen a shift from a physical plain onto the abstract plain of the internet and portable listening devices.

This has brought in a new wave of ‘music to chill out to’. While you’re surfing social media, unwinding after work or even writing an article for a music blog you don’t want to be bogged down with music that demands your attention. You want the musical equivalent of a beautiful leather wingback chesterfield armchair. When examined it’s a piece of art in its own right but most of the time you just use it for relaxing.

Unfortunately many artists who try their hand at this style seem to confuse chilling out with zoning out. Instead of being beautifully simple and vibey their music is repetitive and lacking in character. It’s a tough balancing act but one new artist who seems to have found it is Nightkites. Promoted and mentored at a young age by Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) and with musical nods towards fellow Brightonian and master of the down tempo Bonobo, it seems Nightkites could be the next step in this chill-wave crusade if his début EP Drones is anything to go by.

Dark and brooding, Drones makes you feel like the tortured genius of a crime or medical drama, fighting against time to crack the case. While at the same time it stands up as a dance record with enough hooks and grooves to keep the room moving. It is this marriage of cinematics and beats that makes this EP well worth a listen and with Drones Part 2 in the pipeline also something to look forward to.

Joe Cherry

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