The message of DAS ELITE’s song “Landslide,” inspired on a stormy night journey, is one of introspection and inner struggle. The words and instrumentation work together to produce a planned yet synthetic sound that tugs at the emotions and conveys the sensation of being overwhelmed by a great force.
DAS ELITE is the personal electronic outfit of renowned Swedish producer and mixer Andreas Ahlenius. Working with many international gold- and platinum-selling artists over the years, Andreas sees DAS ELITE as a getaway, a creative output, and a project maneuvering in its own emotional soundscape, allowing electronic melancholy to set the tone. Although a vagabond working around the world, Andreas lives in his home town of Gävle on the Swedish east coast, where he works from his studio, The Blue Room. His sounds are wonderful and bright, glistening like raindrops against neon signs, falling from dark clouds onto chrome streets. It’s a future sound, but it’s not sparkly and happy. a realistically human sound, one that shuns the light and brings forth true emotions with its synthetic charm.
DAS ELITE’s latest release, the “Landslide” EP, is a collection of songs and remixes that captures exactly what electric music can bring to the modern day. The EP is a looking glass trained toward the future. It’s not all roses; sometimes it’s dark. But there is beauty in that darkness, buried beneath the rubble of the past. It takes a true talent to uncover it, and DAS ELITE has that talent.
Released on February 3, 2023 The “Landslide” EP starts off with “Landslide.” The title track has earned its place as the first on the EP. It opens up with a self-titled track. an introspective, moody track carried by emotive pianos, pads, and synths. Heartbreak seems to be the main theme, but it was actually inspired by a lack of sleep after returning home from a very long drive in bad weather. “I opened all the windows to the storm and wanted to write a moody bonus track to the single “Torment”… and suddenly I had Landslide more or less written,” Andreas explains. You can actually listen to that night’s storm at the end of the track. It’s bold, bright, and full of tonal shifts that send you hurtling into Night City. It starts solemn; a pulsing synth chord echoes over the landscape.
A rich bass burrows deep in the ground, riling up the vocals, which remain calm and collected nonetheless. Pads breathe life into the air; a discordant chord shifts the mood; it feels wholly new and like an 80s classic at the same moment. The lyrics are heartfelt and carry the emotion; the instrumental is calculated and synthetic, carrying the beat. When the first drop arrives, it hits you as a landslide should. It’s vast, deep, unpredictable, and unstoppable. It barrels up to you, seeming slow but traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. The vocals are serene above it all. watching the chaos ensue from their invisible safe haven. As the song progresses, it turns more instrumental, but it never loses that human touch. a melody that is as catchy as they come and an instrumental that tugs on each and every heartstring.
Carrying on from that heavy-hitting track comes “Align.” It’s a darker opening, a faster-paced track that plays with percussive synth and favors atmosphere over beat. Massive pads climb the dark walls. Soon the vocals call out from far away, a last bastion of hope. They ignite the electrical army, and the beat picks up. It’s bright and inviting. At its core, however, is something sinister, foreshadowed by the dissonant chords. The major into minor. It’s all coming to a close, scored by the mighty sounds of DAS ELITE. The rest of the EP shows different visions of DAS ELITE’s dystopia. Remixes of “Landslide” from Moist, JEC, and Magnus Moody. Each adds their own twist, their own bleak view of humanity, and their own glimmer at the end of the tunnel. This electric collection of cacophonous tracks is masterful in its imagery and beat work. painting pictures with halogen and taking you away to twisted, gear fulled worlds. Give Landslide a listen, and you’d never stop jamming to any of DAS ELITE’S releases.
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