Getting lost in a Roland Tings track is very easy. His crisp instrumentals tend to evoke a lot feelings and on his new EP ‘First Wave’, everything flows so well so that when you simply sit back and listen to every song, you feel at ease and centred. ‘First Wave’ was created in solitude, not long after the release of Roland Tings’ last EP Salt Water, that featured quite a few collaborations. This is Tings at his finest, working with his signature 80s snares, drum machines and glittering arpeggios to create kaleidoscopic sounds that transport you to different worlds.
The EP’s title track is one of my favourites. The beat is elevated by shimmering synths and a soft guitar track that glides over the crisp melody like a paintbrush glides over a canvas. The production is smooth and spacious, a theme that seems to run throughout the EP because every single song seems to flow so seamlessly. ‘First Wave’ however, feels warm and the production in this instance makes everything feel vibrant and soothing.
‘Lights On The Headland’ feels almost cinematic, with the beat bouncing alongside twisting synths and samples that echo above a sweet hum. This track opens the EP and again, feels really spacious. All of the elements on ‘Lights On The Headland’ give themselves space to breathe and it’s 80’s-accents give the melody a wonderful texture.
‘Down The Line’ and ‘Orange Circle’ are quite similar in that they’re both wonderfully calming. ‘Down The Line’ has a pattering beat that feeds off of cool atmospherics and fizzing samples. This song feels like a refreshing glass of lemonade, it’s sweet and cooling at the same time. ‘Orange Circle’ has cooling elements to it as well, with a tougher snare giving it a bit more roughness. ‘Orange Circle’ is quite minimalist and feels really easy. Jittering samples dance across the atmospherics and about half-way through the track, heavier synths rise up and provide a bit of angst to the previously simplistic piece.
Finally, ‘First Wave’ ends with ‘Leaving’, a track that initially sounds quite solemn. Deep atmospherics give way to a heavy beat and everything moves so slowly. This track feels like being underwater. There’s a stillness to it, despite the light snare that dances across the milky melody. It’s a gorgeous note to end on and close another chapter in Roland Tings’ musical journey.
‘First Wave’ is a magical EP that’s filled with songs that feel so free. Nothing on this EP is rigid, it’s soft and has a magical tone to it that just helps to put your mind at ease. Roland Tings is a musical magician and ‘First Wave’ is a great example of his enchanting talent.