sassy things



Liam Murphy

May 25, 2024

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Slick and serene beats sweep through this release with confidence, tranquil melodic bliss at an energetic pace

Algorithm’s can be good sometimes. Most of the time they are attempting to improve our lives in ways not decided by us, but some hybrid carved out by whatever force has the most money to promote and disperse their content and garnished by our own habits. Our watching habits, our spending habits, our listening habits. In terms of music recommendations, there is often piles of amazing underappreciated music that more recognisable and commercially successful names sit atop of.

But incredible music will out sometimes. Sometimes the right album gains traction, especially on YouTube. The wormhole of music that can be accessed if you guide your algorithm into showing you it on the platform is superior to many others and might be the best. Look at the lore surrounding the incomparable upload ‘Peshay Studio Set (1996)’. Those oblong thumbnails and interesting artworks exist half in the realm of the platform’s audio streaming service and half in the uncopyrighted caverns made by the users/artists just looking for a place to put amazing music.

That seems what has happened with sassy things, Argentinian artist GENDEMA’s recent release on No Problema Tapes currently nearing 100,000 views on YouTube. ’algorithms really blessed up today’ a comment reads, sitting almost at the top of the upload, just behind the artist’s message giving thanks to new and old listeners. This new album comes off the back of wonderfully constructed releases over the past few years. The 2022 album Milouda deserves a special mention, a chilled, self-proclaimed ‘multi-genre journey’ that fits together murky fragments of vocals with lounge-y chords and keys that grow to become glassy and effervescent in the last few tracks.

sassy things manages to keep this same sense of chill even though it turns up the intensity and the tempo in many cases. The album opener, improving the rawness, gets things off to a start with a beautiful slick sound. Sweeping euphoria rushes past calming atmospheric notes. The keys that emerge have a simultaneous feeling of repose and pace to match the light jungle beats and echoed ad-libs. It gives that pre-Millennium sensation of modernity at pace. A speed blur of surroundings while one sits in comfort. The melodies here, as with many of the other tracks on the album, wouldn’t be out of place in GENDEMA’s slower material – the glittering keys on Sporty like a Supra particularly. In that way, sassy things is a testament to the artist’s skills, able to bring that innate lounge-y brilliance, no matter what the tempo.

It’s also worth mentioning that the artist allows these speedy journeys to fully ferment in runtimes almost consistently running over 5 minutes, another affirmation that GENDEMA’s intention with this album is not to blaze out in a shocking brevity but to let the listener settle in. telepathy for sluts, with it’s tremolo organ chords – sometimes stabbing and sometimes soft – heating things up shows this too. The track feels confident and assured in its sound. Nothing jumps out unexpectedly, and there is no huge build-up, but as the drums catch once again after an interlude featuring a vocaloid-y lead and far-off trumpets there is an undeniable release. A theatrical catharsis isn’t needed. GENDEMA is engineering a welcoming and polished atmosphere without the need for commercial pageantry.

The artist’s knack for vocal sampling (again, back to Milouda and its first track Cuánto de vos hay en tus cosas) is out in full force as well. On it is okay to kill an atheist – where we move from a free and floaty beginning to chunky, searing basslines – GENDEMA pushes until the closing 30ish seconds to hit us with this beautiful winding vocal croon that dips with the drum with a bewildering sharpness, like rose petals ordaining some brutish percussive piston. This is beautiful production.

GENDEMA is more than successful at injecting his halcyonic tracks with a fierce percussion-led energy, the glowing vitality that he manages to create on sassy things is genuinely exciting and should act as inspiration to similar artists. That levitating ambient dance sound of the 90s/00s is resurrected here, and decorated with the artist’s proximity to modern internet-based genres such as vaporwave. There’s an impenetrable coolness to it, the listener guided along calmly and fluidly but at a great speed.