Article by: Ryan Hood
Honestly, the first time I listened to this EP, I was in my car during a crazy storm and I had a pretty cathartic experience.
And somehow, that story still does not do this EP justice.
Bay Area producer Ravenscoon has been a champion of the underground bass scene, setting the tone with trance-like toplines, gut-punching bass, and signature chopped vocal tracks. He is known for his Downtempo Adventure Mixtape series, his most recent EP Mind, and recent release “Bad Shit” with Super Future.
However, Rapid Eye Movements is his best work to date.
The opening track “Nystagmus” starts with a chilling vocal sample that questions the listener’s perception of dreams, being awake, and reality. This vocal track coupled with the EP’s title tells us the EP will be exploring themes of questioning one’s reality. “Rapid Eye Movements” refers to a certain part of mammalian sleep cycles known as REM sleep. During REM sleep, the sleeper’s eyes will move quickly and randomly, and the sleeper will experience vivid dreams. The term “nystagmus” is a condition in which the eyes dart back and forth in a repetitive, uncontrollable manner. We all experience rapid eye movement in our sleep, but those with nystagmus experience this while they are awake as well.
Relating to the theme of our perception of reality, “Nystagmus” indicates that while most of us may only perceive true “reality” in our dreams, some can perceive true reality while they are awake as well. The vocal sample itself is an excerpt from the 2001 experimental film Waking Life, in which the protagonist has experiences that walk the line between dreaming and reality. From this knowledge, coupled with the chilling opening vocal sample, we find the EP questions what true reality is - whether it is while we are awake or dreaming.
The first drop opens with a massive synth and punishing kick-snare drum pattern. The topline comes in, giving the song incredible duality. The second drop is where this EP takes a dark turn, as the bassline takes over and drives the song home. The duality between floating toplines and punishing basslines is present throughout the entire EP.
Next is “Showing Out,” the heaviest tune of the EP. The song builds to a drop driven by the chopped vocal sample and long bass synths. The trap percussion places even further emphasis on the bass samples, and leaves room on the top of the frequency spectrum for a graceful topline for the final eight bars.
The flow between “Showing Out” and the eponymous title track is astounding, as while “Showing Out” fades out, “Rapid Eye Movement” brings it back with a multitude of risers and builds to a drop with quick, repeating bass synths and melodies. This track makes the listener think they are seeing double, once again exhibiting a precise mixdown and sounds that stand out amongst the chaos.
The final track “Awake” featuring CASHFORGOLD is the perfect ending to the EP. The track begins with a wave-like synth and trap beat coupled with CASHFORGOLD’s ethereal vocals. Upon the drop, a punishing sub-bass kicks in as the vocal track is utilized as the topline melody. This is representative of the fantastic downtempo we’ve come to expect from Ravenscoon.
Keep up with the latest from Ravenscoon using the links below, and follow along with Moon Lvnding’s New Music Friday Heat and Moon Tvnes From Outer Space playlists on Spotify for all of this weekend’s fresh bangers.
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