Mylko - Contrast

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2016-09-30

With echoes of Passion Pit, MGMT and Solid Gold, Mexico City-based duo Mylko serve up delightfully skewed tunes that sit somewhere between abstract electronic experimentation and well rounded, elastic techno-pop on debut album Contrast.

There’s an artificiality to the album that would seem off-putting in someone else's hands, but these two multi-instrumentalists easily blend plastic fakey-ness with a natural ear for melody. This partnership of sound can be heard especially on 'Untraveled', the video game bleeps enhancing the dizzying swirl of the background synths. Or take 'Bloom', the album's clear standout. It has a playful, programmed beat that matches the song's theme of nostalgia for friendships that are no longer as close as they once were. Although tinged with the melancholy of "separate roads" the narrator refers to, you can't help but feel happy for what once was in the context of the song's catchy bounce.

Moving forward seems to be the main message of the album. Speaking to Spin magazine about the title track 'Contrast', the duo had this to say: “‘Contrast’ is the first song we wrote as Mylko and our first approach at our sound. It has an experimental vibe to it and a crazy middle section that remains among our favorite parts of the album. The song is about change and growth and embracing new realities.” Boding well for forwardness, it sounds like it’s trying to find its footing, the melody warping near the end while lending further credence to the line “We’re headed to a new life/ lookin’ for the moonlight”

‘Animal' chugs along like puzzle pieces that are slowly locking into place. The robotic machinations of the beats grind against its inherent, structural propulsion ”Have no fear/ Don’t look back again/ Something greater in front of you always.”

There's a clubbing atmosphere that shows up near the end of the album. Synthesizers pulse and shine on ‘Limits’ while they turn into laser-like blasts on the soothing, r&b influenced 'Closure.' The strobing bass of 'Winter' is hypnotic, and you can almost see the flashes of light wash over shut-eyed dancers, staggering their midnight moves.

Intentionally or not, Contrast does an admirable job of highlighting its namesake by pulling together conflicting sounds without the dissonance that should logically follow. With optimism at its core, it’s forward-thinking in both style and substance, and it shows Mylko as an up-and-coming force to someday be reckoned with.

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