RIYL: DJ Krush
Okay. Let’s be honest for a second. I’m a sucker for a Ruan. A Ruan is also know as a pipa, and makes some crazy awesome, light guitar tones. Crossing the Water, hailing from Scotland, United Kingdom uses it, along with 808s, drum machines, a myriad of synths, and a litany of production to create this the Chinatown EP. While only three songs, there is band for your pound with these tracks. Reminiscent of DJ Krush’s work, CtW crafts some killer cross-genre action.
The lead track “Crossing the Water – Chinatown – The Strip” (I know, a mouthful) employs the ruan masterfully. There is a ruminating guitar lick throughout the track that is built upon as the song grows and swells. There’s a tone of bass on the track as well, perfect for setting the mood on what is likely a concept EP. The song doesn’t evolve much as it continues, but it serves as a killer jam to set the tone of the rest of the EP.
The follow up, “Chinatown – The Arcade” uses a Back to the Future II sample to lead. Some of you might recognize the scene where Marty goes into the arcade and shows some punk kids Wild Gunman. Such a classic. Anyway, as the song builds, it definitely provides that 80s arcade game vibe, replete with 8-bit sounds, mixed with modern guitar / synth flourishes. Think Micky running during a break in the original Punch Out! (you can’t unhear it now, can you?).
The final track of the EP, “Chinatown – The Dojo / Zen Garden” puts the listener in the mood to watch Blade Runner. No, seriously. The mood the strikes the track is that of Rick Deckard entering Tyrell Corporation to meet Rachael for the first time. There is a certain mood here, with a lot of percussive elements that make up the back bone of the EP.
Ultimately, if you are into kitschy tunes that inspire a certain mood and genre (namely 80s video games and cult films), this is for you.