Fitting nicely alongside Blackest Ever Black’s reissuing of Tropic Of Cancer’s Downwards Singles is this new work, the first we’ve heard since 2013. Stop Suffering opens out from the dancefloor into what could almost be called songcraft, though still swathed in heavy club melancholy. Rad.
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- Stop Suffering by Tropic of Cancer
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 10 November 2015
Forgive me for a minute for discussing the inner bag to this long awaited 12” from the band who I’m sure still rejoice in being named at number 9 in our Albums of the Year 2013.
The bag is a gorgeous natural brown hessian style. Probably the best inner bag I’ve seen all year. When listening to the music within it’s initially hard to see why this gets so many techno heads nodding. It’s very well produced gothy 1980’s 4AD- like slow-wave. They own a particularly effective tape delay/reverb unit which they slather all over the vocals whilst guitars chug away underneath. As ’Stop Suffering’ comes to it’s conclusion they blend the goth with some sweeping effects but despite a kick drum pounding away it’s rather understated. Overleaf ‘I Woke Up and the Storm Was Over’ sounds better when you play it at the right speed (damn these 45rpm/33rpm splits) with the blend of shoe-gaze vocals with steady low end beats blended more effectively making it sounds like Slowdive’s ‘Rutti’ slowed down to 16rpm. Closer ‘When the Dog Bites’ ensures that they get their money’s worth out of the ‘woosh’ effects they’ve used on every track so far and I start to see how this could be compared put next to Burial and Forest Swords on your late night mix tape.
Tropic of Cancer do a good job in updating your 80’s misery gaze for the post techno generation - they are good because they are blurry. Yet at times I’m thinking it’s all atmospheric effects and no actual trousers.
9/10 Jacob Customer review, 8th November 2015
This EP was my introduction to Tropic of Cancer and what a first impression! A few times every year I am blown away by new music and this EP ensures Tropic of Cancer joins my 2015 blown-away alumni (alongside Fred Thomas, Elysia Crampton, Drake and Black Kray for those interested).
This is as good as darkwave gets in my opinion. Each track is filled with emotion (both lyrically and sonically) and the melodies remain catchy and immediate beneath the wash of synth layers. Camella Lobo's vocal presence is really something to behold when she gets going and the title track is easily Stop Suffering's strongest song thanks to its commanding vocal performance. Even despite the heavy reverb on her vocals, you can't help but remain hooked on the beauty of her voice whenever it choses to appear.
The EP only has 3 tracks but they each run longish (5-7 minutes). However as with acts like Burial you'll hardly notice the length - a sure sign of quality compositions. My only complaint is that I wish this had another 1 or 2 tracks on it but I suppose i'll have to wait for the next full length.
Having gone back and listened to 2013's Restless Idylls I would say this EP is a synthesis of the project's greatest strengths. Therefore it's the perfect place for new listeners to take a plunge. Give this a listen! Definitely will be an underrated gem of 2015.
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