A few years ago, Matt Papich and eventual Ponytail founder Dustin Wong worked together as psychedelic maestros Ecstatic Sunshine. Once that project had run its course, Papich had to find the next thing, and has now found his way to Co La. The familiar disassociation of the name, that separation of a familiar sugar rush into two halves, is a core of Papich’s work on this project’s debut album, dropping funk, tropicalia, and dubby house into a blender, and pouring the neon green results into shot glasses for easy consumption. Sometimes the mix is a bit off, but the intent to get crazy is always the same.
When Daydream Repeater is at its best, it’s a combination of saccharine pop and trippy psychedelia, a la El Guincho or recent Animal Collective without any of the vocals. The sub-bass bubbles to the surface on “Turned Twice”, as twinkling piano and faded harmonies loop around. Papich’s heavily reverbed mumbles and intonations add a shambolic, mantra-like quality to the mix. “Smooth Solidarity” pulses like a reggae jam caught in deep space, and “Egyptian Peaches” ripples and fades, bright, angled saxophone tripping out over the top.
There are a few points at where the seams show a little too clearly, the loops too obvious and stilted. Opener “Cocktail” rips a swing beat and fingersnaps straight from the Twin Peaks soundtrack and then adds some distant, warbling female vocals, without building to anything or forming an idea. The vocal samples in “My Jamaican” sound like they’re coming from a handful of button-pushes on an old synth, the flow startling and stumbling.
The pure amount of reverb dripping all over this record is a bit one-note as well, the songs often echoing into each other. The flourishes of tropicalia are a familiar touch in this kind of music, but that doesn’t mean it ever stops working. Daydream Repeater isn’t a mind-blowing debut, but it’s one that brings together working strategies to hit some solid notes.
Essential Tracks: “Turned Twice”, “Egyptian Peaches”