X3SR: “s t a y w i t h m e”
It’s uncertain if anything tagged under ‘chillwave’ over at Soundcloud is still given the benifit of the doubt in 2014, like it was the case three or four years ago. Here are some historic words by Ric Leichtung (of Altered Zones) on the slightly notorious genre back in 2011:
Chillwave. It’s been shoved down our throats over the past couple of years due to its ease of creation and distribution (thank you Ableton Live soft synths and plug-ins; thank you Soundcloud and the blogs that embed you!!), and a lot of it fucking sucks.
Anyway, when we first saw Miami’s X3SR on Emmy Feldman’s music blog Don’t Need No Melody and were linked to the outfit’s Soundcloud page, we noticed that “s t a y w i t h m e" was tagged under ‘chillwave’, something that may be remarkable after hearing the song for the first time, because the track definitely deserves something finer than that.
But who cares about genres? X3SR’s “s t a y w i t h m e" is an intriguing piece of music, thanks to its dense layers of sound and semi-hypnotic textures. Yes, the duo’s dreamscapes do recall us of Tycho, yet there’s something particular about X3SR’s solid drums, their clear-cut and spacious guitars and the song’s entire atmosphere. — Johan Baeten