Boomkat Product Review:
Christopher Willits is the latest musician to dip his toe into jubilant pop, but then he's always been half way there hasn't he? Even though he's released on 12k (most notably the incredible 'Folding and the Tea' album) his music has never been quite so steeped in academia as his label-mates and associates might have you believe. His cyclic glitching guitar-parts have become synonymous with his name and 'Surf Boundaries' sees the musician taking a giant leap into fully fledged dream-pop. He doesn't hold back either, after a few seconds of warming organ we are catapulted head first into 'Colors Shifting', which is as fine a pop track as you're likely to hear this year. Although held together by Willits' trademark high-frequency clicks and pops, we are treated to subtle drumming, bass guitar and then the luscious vocals of Latrice Barnett and Willits himself in glorious harmony. The easiest comparison would be to early (pre-Loveless) My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive, but there is a modernity in Willits' production that transcends his obvious use of laptop trickery. Indeed there are moments here which would surely have fans of Ulrich Schnauss, Khonnor even Tunng getting weak at the knees, and yet Willits still finds the time to throw in moments of pure abstraction to show where he's coming from. 'Love Wind' for example is closer to Tim Hecker's latest work than anything the aforementioned artists might have produced, and 'Saturn' comes across like a more restrained Fennesz, but Willits' finest moments are his poppiest. Towards the end of the record we are treated to 'Yellow Spring' which blindfolded I might have mistaken for a Stereolab/Tortoise collaboration - yep, it's that strong. So ignore the fact that Willits will be lumped in with the current glut of electronic/indie hybrids and rest assured that 'Surf Boundaries' is simply a great progressive pop record with few of the trappings of the ailing electronica scene.