For a few years now i have been receiving random promo tracks from a Vancouver based electronic
music producer who calls himself Germany Germany. Apparently he has been releasing albums for years
now, and has a ton of releases on BandCamp. However, i think that this is the first actual release i have heard, or
maybe the first thing that was more than a digital single.
No matter, because i like what Germany Germany is doing. Apparently his real name is Drew Harris,
and according to that same bandcamp page, he has a band to "play these songs live". I find that
fascinating and would love for Mr. Harris and company to make the long trek to Atlanta, GA sometime. I
would love to see how he does this in a live setting.
What Germany Germany are doing on Willow is crisp sparse electronic dance music
not unlike the kind of think that Morr or Kompakt records would release (and both of those labels are
German -- which might be why the act is named as it is), although there is also a bit of that sparkling
indie pop that Make Mine Music released back a decade or so ago. So this is like a blend of Epic 45, The
Field, B. Fleischman, and a little bit of Four Tet thrown in. It's a really nice blend and i like what i am
The Record starts off with Wake, three minutes of burbling Teutonic dub -- a nice head-
nodding start to the record.
Harris brings in a singer named Kotomi for If I Stay, a bright shimmer of a tune, the beats
scattered and funky and her voice soaring nicely.
October is funky, with a little hint of Fujiya & Miyagi in the mix. It grows slowly with drum
machine, guitar, and slippery bass. He sings here, apparently, and does a fine job with it as this song
skips along happily with a really great groove. Islands is vaguely similar in that it sounds like the
half-way point between a band and a DJ. On Islands keyboards warble and the drum machine is a
faint disco thump. This song is the midpoint between The xx and OMD.
A synth bass sound takes the lead on Sojourner, a happy tune with a clapped beat and some
muttered vocals overtop. This is pretty poppy.
The title track is next, guitar tinkling lightly in a wistful manner that reminds me of July Skies.
still follows as Harris really sounds a lot like early Four Tet here.
November has a funky drum riff and phase shifted keyboards panning back and forth as the
song swaggers along. Tempest is another happy one, Harris really in a groove here, the song just
bopping along. This is head nodding with layers that clatter or shoot by you in synth sounds that remind
me a little of Young American Primitive, and then the drummer just goes for it suddenly and the song
rocks away. Really fun.
Return is slow, the drums scattered as keyboards tinkle lightly. It's a decent end to the record,
but not his best work.
I really enjoy this record. Germany Germany is making some pretty good electro pop.