Let me just throw this out there for the readers of ArjanwWites.com: my favorite pastime is driving and jamming. There's a certain buzz you get from cranking up your favorite tunes and flying down the highway. Living in London now, I don't get the benefit of that feeling anymore. That being said, Los Angeles based trio DWNTWN - comprised of Jamie Leffler, Robet Cepeda, and Jerrod Bettis - recently released their fresh EP "The Red Room" and all I can think of when I hear the opulent soundscapes of electro-pop cascading through this release is how perfect it would be for a Sunday night sunset drive down Highway 1.
Another highlight for me on this 4 song EP is the downtempo "Stood Me Up." The track’s melancholy synth opening and groovy, Juno-106 bass line instantly calls to mind the ethos of Drive, the Ryan Gosling vehicle with the French House inspired-soundtrack. As Jamie Leffler sings like a whisper through verse, plucked guitars with stadium-rock delays permeate through the mix.
The simplicity of the arrangement really comes through in the chorus though, where a rush of escalating saw-tooth synth waves and sidechained rolling bass create a rolling groove that would be impossible not to nod your head to.
Rounded out by two up-tempo tracks, "Look the Other Way" and "Transition," "The Red Room" is a fine debut effort from the self-described “dreamy synth pop” group. In today’s over-crowded nu-disco and electro-pop marketplace, DWNTWN are certainly impressive and their composition, production and instrumental talents are evident throughout the work. Download DWNTWN "The Red Room" on iTunes now. (Review written by London-based guest blogger Steve Siegel. Siegel is a massive dance music fan and a budding DJ/producer. You reach Steve and listen to his own productions on SoundCloud.)