Published Sep 05, 2014Featuring 16 songs from 16 different artists from around the world (mainly Montreal and Berlin, but with some love to the vaguely-described "Pacific coast"), artist management collective Summer Cool's ONE mixtape seems to dwell on 16 very similar interpretations of summer, often oscillating between impossibly chilled — as on "I Wake Up Tired" by Better Person and "Bohemian Grove" by the Group Sound, a song so laid back that even a mid-song drum entry can't bring the song out of its Novocaine haze — or cheesy love-grooves, like on NONI WO's "Solarstorm" or Pat Jordache's acid-tripping "Hunger."
Despite the large roster of contributors, the mixtape is cohesive, but blends together almost too much. It's a thematic release, so there's bound to be some overlap, but it occasionally feels like slight variations of the same few tracks, featuring new waves of smoky, glossy synths and drum pads, with heaps of pitch-shifting and an implicitly sexual aura. It's disorienting at times, but does lend itself well to nostalgically reminiscing about the summer season, especially as the chill of winter looms mighty once more.
The mixtape's best tracks are "Fan" by exuberantly warped pop-rockers/Mac DeMarco cohorts Walter TV, and the sexily grooving "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by Montreal retro-laced synth-pop duo Vesuvio Solo. Both add a nice kick to the drug-addled fog of the rest of the mixtape which, at over an hour, tends to feel bloated and repetitive by its end. (Summer Cool)