Several months ago I was introduced to the music of sloslylove (Feng Meng Vue), a resident of my home state of Wisconsin. And, no, Mr. Feng did not retreat to the winter wonderland like Justin Vernon did when incubating Bon Hiver.
My friend handed me sloslylove’s EP “Can’t Get Enough,” which took the music of Casino vs. Japan, Marumari and Tycho, and fused it with it with the so-called Chillwave genre. I dropped the ball on reviewing the EP, but Feng has conveniently released an 8-track album called “Secret Dreams” for our listening pleasure.
Whereas “Can’t Get Enough” was more sedated and pretty, sloslylove integrates more New Wave and Electro influences into “Secret Dreams.” The pristine beauty is still there in abundance, but now there is a sense of inertia—the impression that sloslylove could possibly position himself as a producer of dance floor ready music. In a sense, the best moments call to mind Cut Copy’s debut LP “Bright Like Neon Love” and the work of Mylo on “Destroy Rock & Roll.” The opening tracks “Thinkin’ About Love” and “Night Moves” are evidence of this dance aesthetic.
Sloslylove dials down the proceedings with “Love is Red,” which conjures the nighttime atmosphere of Miami—a welcome break. This break continues through the midpoint of the album, triggering a slip back into the groove of previous work, whereas he might have dialed up the BPM and experimented with form and sound design.
“Nights Into Dreams” triggers the inertia again, pulling listeners out of sloslylove’s cocooned dream space. Instead of dropping a track to cave the house in, though, Feng shifts to super slow-motion with “First Semester Love,” creating drums that wash and reverberate, while synths percolate here and there. The effect is reminiscent of Keith Forsey’s “Love Theme” that appeared on “Breakfast Club.”
For first time listeners,“Secret Dreams” will be a window into sloslylove’s past and present work—a cocoon of sound for idle moments where nostalgia, disintegrated love, spectral memories and imagined moments bloom and swirl, then evaporate as suddenly as they appeared.
Stream the album over at sloslylove’s Bandcamp page.