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Brijean - Angelo

Photo Credit ~ Nathan Castiel

Released: August 2022 Label: Ghostly International

Named after their shared 1981 Toyota Celica, Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart's EP ‘Angelo’ propels the body in a forward motion, the embodiment of a fast-moving vehicle.

Silky instrumentation and soft sunset after-glow are wonderful ingredients for club music that soothes the soul and ignites the heart. ‘Angelo’ blends these with electronic house grooves and sensual nu-disco, subtly led by percussion that further explores the heavenly nature of the duo.

Brijean enchants you with their elegant presence; their propulsive songs infusing a dreamy and heartwarming atmosphere whilst also having deeper roots than just a well produced dance project. It is in fact a way of processing and countering the grief and bitterness of loss which requires more than an escapist narrative, it requires a motivational narrative that is conscious of the reality Brijean lives within but with the vividness and bombast of Saint Etienne or The Orb.

The relaxed filtered bassline of post-introduction track ‘Take A Trip’ combines with subconscious strings, detailed percussion, and an evolutionary disco beat. The combination is sturdy enough to drive the music forward without becoming so rigid that it stops feeling organic and effortless, reaching true house depths just shy of halfway through. ‘Shy Guy’ thrums somewhere between languid and kinetic through minimal indie instrumentation and arrangement. The sense of deep house is maintained as sifting sand synths gently flow beneath the percussion.

‘Ooh La La’s’ soft swells and puffy bassline are prominent and pressing, light enough on the ears for you to either sit back and relax, or lose yourself in the pulse of the dancefloor. ‘Where Do We Go?’ with its downtempo drum loop and soft vocals is a work of pure exotica that then leans into Brian Wilson territory on the graceful pop of ‘Caldwell's Way’ - a farewell song to their Bay Area home that heightens the effect of their mellow majesty.

Whilst the formula for ‘Angelo’ as a whole doesn’t appear overly complicated, Brijean are a smart duo, fully aware of how their music captivates through a modern indie take on club-oriented electronica. By blending instrumental arrangements into lush electronic beats, they achieve a highly distinct sound that, without its four-to-the-floor rhetoric, would be cozy enough to fall asleep to. ‘Angelo’ may deviate from the fullness and cinematic presence of the duo’s full-length debut, but the buoyancy and transportive nature of the music takes you to the same delightful place it always has. The instrumentation is fluid and gorgeous without losing its shape; the song structures have a solid foundation without sacrificing atmosphere and worldbuilding. Though linear, the compositional paths Brijean follow are consistently exciting, because nobody else can set a mood like they can - their power lies in an ability to emotionally connect their heart with yours and ‘Angelo’ achieves this with more confidence and spirit than ever before.


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