In an electronic world oversaturated with producers hell-bent on one-upping one another with how weird or how heavy they can produce their tracks, CharlesTheFirst offers an intimate breath of fresh air.
His debut album, The Ascent, is a harmonious marriage of nature and electronica. (Just look at the cover art: snow-covered mountains topped with a visual FX filter.) Oftentimes, his sounds don’t sound forced or even computer-generated. If anything, the producer seems to harness both the darker and brighter forces of nature and translates them to a sonic language. This paradox explains why a listener has the choice of either dancing or meditating to his music.
The album is speckled with ambient pads evocative of wind, bells that bring to mind rain/snowfall and bass that reminds everyone that nature isn’t so kind sometimes.
Some standout tracks that highlight these features are “Breathe,” “The Ascent,” “Nightfall” and “In Pieces.”
“Breathe” is that meditative track that experiments with a bit of house before dropping into a nasty trap beat capped off with a commentator saying, “…north to the mountains, local guides lead them into uncharted territory…”
“The Ascent” and “Nightfall” are both tracks which speak to CharlesTheFirst’s ability to interweave peace and chaos into a single moment. Ambient pads and charming bells sit above bassy madness.
The final track of the album, “In Pieces,” is an immaculate conclusion to the sonic hike. It’s the grandiose climax of nature and electronica.
This debut album had high expectations. The producer recently wrapped up a tour supporting Minnesota and if you haven’t heard his Through the Mist mix yet, then, honestly, what are you doing…?
Check out his album here – you won’t be disappointed!