On his self-released, debut EP, Berklee College of Music student Roland Greco channels the electronic swoosh and sweep of Everything is Wrong-era Moby, compounding subtle drones and ambient dew over crisp, hip-hop production techniques. And like the aforementioned techno producer, Greco’s bass-heavy, downtempo impulses conjure images of sweltering, summer afternoons spent frying under the sun while the cool, aqua-blue elixir of a swimming pool sits in plain view. If you’re willing to take the plunge, then Forever may be your soundtrack.
The album wastes no time keeping the stifling thermostat levels in check with opening track, “Satu Suro,” a crawling jam of pulsating squiggles and synthetic percussion accompanied by the celestial vocals of Ariel Josée. The amalgam works well for Greco’s vision, as Josée’s lush lilt reverberates in colorful shades of auto-tuned bliss. Ditto “With You in Philadelphia,” a toxically potent number laden with thumping electronics, and buffed in a heavenly sheen of serene tones from the talented Alyssa Radziwon on microphone duties.
As quick as Forever’s five songs capsize in sprawling, ethereal sounds, one can’t help but wonder if Greco’s craft has any potential to build steam. While it’s evident that the young musician is still in the early stages of his career, his inclination to dial back the tempos to a snail’s pace may wear on the listener after a couple of spins. There’s also a feeling of redundancy because of this tired blueprint, which by the time you make it through half of the EP, you start to get a deja vu sensation. While there’s no denying the wealth of talent and inspiration Greco captures from his electronic gurus on Forever, he may want to shake things up a bit in the long run.