Vinyl LP | 2023 / US – Original | New
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Sim Nagai loves traveling. Whether these are actual travels to beachy coasts and mountain vistas, or imagined through wishlists and dreams, travel is an inspiration for the Belgian producer's musical activities. Sim's latest album, Equator Hotline, is no different, featuring exotica-fueled beatscapes and transportive vibes. Titles like "Post from Hawaii," "Flute Resort," and "Oceanic Whitetips" are clues to where Sim's head is — but Equator Hotline is also a big step forward from previous releases. The tracks showcase an extra depth, and Sim's knack for lush instrumentation is beautifully amplified throughout the album's thirteen selections. Equator Hotline is like a sonic upgrade on your next flight to parts unknown. Cuts like "Gentle Breeze" are Equator Hotline's bread and butter — on that tune, a sweet vibraphone line glides over a chilled rhythm track as magical bell trees and avian nature sounds tip-toe in the stereo field. It's introspective and calming, transmitting the feel of a lazy getaway. "Catching Waves" also gives the listener something to daydream about — reassuring chords on spacious keys complement a cool hi-hat line and expressive flourishes. The equator itself is breached on "Deep in the Rainforest" as busy percussion playfully accompanies the downtempo drum beat. Electric pianos and bass guitar come together for a stirring melodic motif, giving an emotional spin on tropical climes. Equator Hotline is a musical postcard sent from relaxing, sublime places.
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