Boomkat Product Review:
Tropics is the sultry electronic shoegaze project of young British producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Ward. Unlike so many similarly oriented artists, Ward doesn't hide behind distortion - his arrangements are complex and crystal-clear, reminding us less of any nu-gaze outfit and far more of the gushing electronic fantasias peddled by Nathan Fake, early Four Tet and Tropics' Mu labelmates Solar Bears. We can't help but compare a good number of the album's tracks to the US chillwave of Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, but the most satisfying tracks are those that go for the levitating electronic rock sublime, like the title number and the epic 'Mouves', being the kind of extravagantly psychedelic fare that The Horrors wish they could make. It’s certainly a diverse album - 'Celebrate' summons the Valium-smashed beatscapes of Balam Acab, 'Telassar' is boogie gone Balearic - and Ward deploys an incredible range of rhythmic and instrumental ideas to flesh out his disarmingly pretty songs, but he manages to keep everything coherent. A highly impressive debut all in all.