Chill But Not Chillwave: Detroit’s South South Million

03/02/2012 1:07 PM |


Detroit residents Trevor Naud and Daniel I. Clark are both in Zoos of Berlin, a band I’ve described to people as a baroque, Krautrock Steely Dan. (The Motor City affords a strangeness Brooklyn does not.) Crate-diggers with exceptional taste, the two have launched a new musical endeavor called South South Million that blends samples and live instrumentation with their particular melodic/harmonic proclivities. Their debut album, Wind Hand Caught in the Door, is a choice soundtrack for you next late night rap session or lazy trip downstream.

Like the Lilacs & Champagne record that came out a few weeks ago, it’s hard to tell what’s sampled and what’s not: ocean waves via scratchy sound effects LPs crash over gorgeous string arrangements, cut-up ’70s soul and ’80s dub warble between the left and right channels, saxophone wafts by on the breeze. Naud and Clark show up here and there to sing, probably wearing velvet or velour. Chill but not chillwave, Wind Hand Caught in the Door is closer to the memory experiments of The Caretaker by way of the Avalanches and Saint Etienne. It’s a mellow, groovy listen, deep in the shag.

South South Million have made a short film that sets a medley of the album’s tracks against appropriately ghostlike Detroit scenery that you can watch below. And if you head to their website and give them your email address before the album’s March 6 release date, they’ll send you a free downloadable copy of Wind Hand Caught in the Door when it comes out. Digital will be the only format initially, but I’m hoping this comes out as an LP as music this lush politely asks for vinyl.