The scene opens to the midnight skyline of a neon city while Slick Sax’s saxophone blows like a whirling cool breeze through the balmy summer air, muting the buzzing fluorescent signs that clamor for attention. All the while, Nicole Elizabeth’s breathy vocals murmur and soar above the four-to-the-floor piano-driven beat on the stunning new feel-good single release from Artem Cithara, entitled “Sunshine”. The track is an appropriate composition from a mysterious artist, songwriter and producer whose only goal is to be taken seriously–not only as an EDM icon, but in the context of finer arts.
While much of the electronic music world is still buzzing in circles, trying to find a new route and momentum forward into an uncertain future, Cithara is offering up the other side of the coin: a track with an infallible 90’s aesthetic vision decorated with all the latest electronic craftsmanship.
Though it’s undoubtedly a track for driving down palm-lined roads along the beach front in the July heat, it’s more than a coincidence that it has arrived now. It all means one thing: Artem Cithara is anticipating the season, as well as his peers, showing that he is taking himself seriously. And so should we.
“Sunshine” (ft. Nicole Elizabeth & Slick Sax) is a thoughtfully executed and dauntingly coherent Vocal House track, which conjures immediate and unflinching imagery within its first few notes and doesn’t stray for a single second thereafter.
At a time when even the most revered producers are self-effacing, glorified clowns, seeking the most futuristic and complex sounds and collaborations, Artem Cithara has somehow managed to avoid the gimmicky madness modern EDM.
The result is a stunning track that conveys a fully formed aesthetic vision through an immaculate sound stage that stays simple, clean and crisp. “Sunshine” (ft. Nicole Elizabeth & Slick Sax) is a genuine delight that skillfully walks the razor thin line between that which feels great to hear and that which feels great to dance to. And he hits it dead bang in the center.
Of course no matter how we cut it, the saxophone is probably this track’s defining factor, and which ultimately separates “Sunshine” from the rest of the genre. If you aspire to that stylistic tone, flush with the entire harmonic spectrum – low lows to high highs, where the frequencies delicately balance to form a sublimely enrapturing sonic ambrosia, you’ll find it in Slick Sax’s playing.
Saxophone aside, the vocal element is largely there to form an additional melody within the track, and Nicole Elizabeth does this remarkably well. Silky smooth and with a seductive, breathless female vocal, the whisper-soft melody creates an experience of bliss, coupled with a bassy undertone that adds urgency and punctuates the vibe throughout.
The additional joy is that Artem Cithara has maintained a style that feels warm and original. And for a genre that tends to be satisfied wallowing in established trends more than any other, this is a much needed buck for the mainstream’s standard.