Dublin-hailing, Berlin-based DJ, Bill Mango’s debut EP, Sun, Sea & XTC, taps into a feeling that so many of us in the electronic music community have been craving since COVID-19 struck. As the virus continues to maintain a stranglehold on the live music industry, the feelings of communal bliss offered by live house shows is something that feels more and more like a hazy dream, receding farther and farther into the distance.
Sun, Sea & XTC is filled with sun-soaked, bleary-eyed, bittersweet tunes that remind us of the pure elation and dreamy escapism that house music can offer. No track manages to capture this array of feelings more effortlessly than the languid opener, “Carabela.” As the song fades in with birds chirping and gentle waves crashing on the shore, a soft, lilting guitar line, tambourine, and hand-drums all weave in to craft a rhythm primed for an outdoor venue during sunset. The track quickly picks up speed as the four-by-four drum and bass rhythm kicks in, while a synth-line that recalls sunlight shimmering on the ocean, along with a vocal sample of airy, exhaling breaths, work to maintain a lingering mood of dreaminess and ephemerality. As the song closes out, the synths and guitar drop away, revealing the pulsing rhythm underneath, a moment that feels like a wake-up call and reminder that the dream is nearly over.
The EP marks Bill’s first release on his new imprint Mango, which started as a residency at famed Berlin club Griessmüehle. This track, and the EP as a whole, is a wistful nod to the halcyon days of club-going and summertime outdoor sets. While these days may be still a ways away, this track offers a sublime encapsulation of the serenity house music can provide.