Craft Spells is waving their magic wand once again after over a year since their last endeavor. The band out of Stockton, California has been drawing attention over the past couple of years since their official debut in 2011. Known mainly for their dream-pop sound, the band is not uncomfortable dabbling with techno arrangements or indie-rock compositions. The bands last EP: Nausea, released in 2014, had a sound fans were not unfamiliar with from the band. The surf-pop sound took listeners on a California beach stroll while Vallestero’s lackadaisical tone facilitated the experience. After Nausea, Craft Spells took a brief hiatus until late 2015 when they released a single titled: “Our Park by Night.” The single was more upbeat, and paid homage to the skateboarder lifestyle. The track featured an eerie out of tune guitar melody set to a hiphop beat. What also set this single apart from previous projects by the band was the single’s cover art that featured a skateboarder preparing to do a wild trick on a window ledge; whereas, previous cover art was always more abstract.
The latest endeavor by the band is a reboot of tracks from Nausea with a touch of Ecstasy. Midnight Render (Nausea Rebuild) is the title of the new EP, and things take off right away with a remix of “Changing Faces.” This track can make anyone want to start up their Mitsubishi, and pick up that one friend with all of the fresh b-boy moves who will pop-lock the whole ride. The EP is roughly 30 minutes that’s enough time for an E pill to start take effect, so hopefully the candy was ingested before the Vallestero experience. About midway through, the remixes to “Twirl” and “Breaking the Angle” are introduced. Meishi Smile, an electronica project based out of California, aids in delivering the Craft Spells Wizardry on “Twirl.” Among the originality of this remix lie elements of Ace of Bass from the early 90’s throughout the beat. “Breaking the Angle” is hard to get into; it sounds like something that could’ve been played during the Matrix Reloaded rave scene. Picture guys banging on drums with dread locks, and everyone clothed in rags appearing as if they can walk the runway at the next Kanye West fashion show.
Overall, this release may leave some fans feeling lost. It sounds like something Lisa Ling would have vibed out too during her rave days. To truly appreciate it requires a familiarity with the electronica approach; this EP has a very specific sound that may not resonate with all of the current supporters. These remixes can possibly open the door to a new fan base for the band considering these remixes were put together by producers with clout in that genre. Fans who are not comfortable with this release can only hope that the next LP will be a return to the dream-pop production that caught the attention of so many in the beginning. Follow Craft Spells on Instagram, @craftspells; Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CraftSpells/; Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/craftspells.