25 February 2014 (Self-Released)
Ahhhh, springtime is in the air, can’t you feel it? Down here in the 505 you can literally feel it, the wind that is. A constant, blustery reminder what time of year it is and that it is not quite warm enough to swim at anytime of day or night. Spring is a diabolical season, teasing views of the summer heat, while spitting snow and rain with the fifty mile per hour gusts when least expected. Most music seems to have a proper season for it to be optimally experienced. Fleeting and ever changing happiness are strong spring time themes in music and some people just feel them at all times of the year. Long Island based Ryan DeRobertis of Saint Pepsi has had warm weather on the mind since February. But at this point I would wager he always experiences those spring time party feels because his music has embodied it quite eloquently for sometime now. Last year he left us with the exquisite ride more commonly referred to as Hit Vibes, and his latest release, Gin City, has picked up right where he left off.
Part of the vapor wave experience is the lack character in the recycled sound, but it is a classic catch 22. For someone to stick their head out of the old forgotten muck, they must have a unique appeal just like any field of music. A few notable vapor wave heavyweights such as Nmesh and Saint Pepsi have been able to distinguish themselves while still feeling eerily synthetic. Saint Pepsi specifically utilizes a higher degree of manipulation with the samples he uses, but his obvious love of making people dance is really what sets him apart.
Every sound he touches has an abnormal amount of happiness melted into it. DeRobertis picks some of the most jovial samples and mixes them with an array of drumbeats and vocal memories. At some key points on Gin City, like the namesake opener, Saint Pepsi teases some trap-like snare hits that start to lean into the realm of footwork. He expresses complete control over the situation; any feeling or emotion expressed by the borrowed sounds is deliberately placed in the contexts of DeRovertis’ own production work.
Saint Pepsi’s personal production is were the most growth between Hit Vibes and Gin City is seen. Hit Vibes is shaped by the odd vocal skits and vapor wave style appropriating, while a less forward production presence from DeRovertis lurks just out of sight. Gin City is practically the opposite of that, thriving off what DeRovertis brings to the table and using samples as icing instead of the main body of the cake. The track “Mr. Wonderful” is a perfect example of this. While the song is still specifically built from the rubble of other tracks, Saint Pepsi clearly has his hands all over the different sounds he uses.
Listening to Gin City is 15 minutes of bliss you didn’t know you had and will never have again. Actually it’s more like an hour or two that you will never have again because, like the irresistible taste of gin, you keep coming back for more. Actually the similarities between gin and Saint Pepsi are almost as deep as your glass. The same woozy disorienting feeling is obtained if enough of either is consumed. Remember everything Saint Pepsi gets his sticky little soda fingers on is a party, so grab a solo cup and get ready to have a good time.
Rating: Loved It