Danish electronic artist Rumpistol, aka Jens B. Christiansen, releases his fourth and most ambitious album yet – Floating – a collaboration with LA based vocalist Red Baron that further explores the post dub-step vocal territories opened up on last year’s Talk To You EP. With tighter song structures, intimate lyrics and the Baron’s ecstatic vocal projections, the two create a parallel world in which the domestic breakdowns of wintry Copenhagen are filtered through surreal sun-bleached Californian dreams, resulting in a robotic and hypnagogic hybrid of soul.
The sound, while still recognizably “Rumpistol” in its organically unstable clicks and gurgles, marks an evolution in Christiansen’s thinking, shedding light on the interior landscapes of existential crisis and bliss that he’s been essaying over the last ten years.
The introduction of Red Baron does a great deal to carry this forward. Many of the tracks were written in partnership with the elusive vocalist on an almost subconscious level, through a process where different phrases were recorded until the atmosphere was properly expressed. It’s through the Baron’s heavily processed voice, hovering between male and female timbres, that the ghost of American pop culture finds itself here too. In this way Grace Jones stands tall in a frozen stream on I’m Not Listening, Lionel Richie gets stuck in traffic on a bad trip in Colors Breaking while Kanye pushes his auto-tuned bicycle through the blizzard of Floating.
But as the arctic arpeggiated synths let you know, the album is more about the future than any past, a future where Rumpistol and Red Baron dare to take current genres from the post dub-step and wonky scenes and defy them with the human voice for a dystopic soul music of their own.