Pascal Terstappen must be a happy man. Despite still being a student, his productions under the Applescal moniker have been widely acclaimed throughout the global techno community, gaining Applescal attention from influential blogs such as XLR8R and Pitchfork (not to mention his tracks being played by dance music icons such as Sasha, Hernan Cattanaeo and Laurent Garnier). In between playing live sets at the 5 Days Off festival among others – and readying his third Applescal LP – he’s also found the time to deliver a nine track album under his new Yoshiba 87 alias: Beaming Flowers From India, a loose collection of tunes that wouldn’t fit the mould he created for Applescal in recent years.
Despite the many styles collected on this album, two principle qualities attributed to Terstappen’s work remain: texture and melody. The album’s cohesion comes from using a pallette of warm synthpads and ringing leads that flow freely throughout this album no matter what rhythmic patterns drive the tracks. Meanwhile Terstappen tries his hand at inert trip-hop beats , glitches, chiming ambient house … all while mixing programmed and live drums with ease. There’s no four-to-the-floor kicks to be found anywhere on the album, a clear indication that this is not Applescal territory. Yoshiba 87 is the perfect moniker for Terstappen to really show the full scale of his production skills.
Perhaps the most notable track here is his collaboration with singer Pien Feith, an artist widely known for her enthusiasm when it comes to collaborations. You’re The Best Thing Ever largely revolves around her cut-up and processed vocals, built upon a looming trip-hop groove that could be mistaken for a Floating Points production. A Message From Tuvalu is a foray into glitch-hop, while Nineteen 8 + 7 is a lighthearted UK bass production. Both are well executed and fun to listen, but somehow lack context here. Terstappen is keeping so close to respective stylistic boundaries that they become a little anonymous in the process. Meanwhile, the uptempo electronica of Earthly Vibes and the ambient We Are Still Alive hug a little closer to Applescal territory, but fit much better with the ambient intermezzo’s on the album. Gravity Hackers takes a few cues from M83’s Midnight City and Walls’ Heat Haze but turns out much less overstated and baroque than its progenitor. It’s the perfect blend between ambient and indiepop aesthetics.
In the end, Beaming Flowers From India does much more than simply kill the time in between Applescal albums. Rather, one could call it Pascal Terstappen’s coming out as a full-fledged, boundlessly unlimited producer. It opens up a whole new field of possibilities, ranging from Damon Albarn-esque (or Pien Feith-like) artistic promiscuity to the kind of pop-electronic crossovers we’ve seen from the likes of Apparat, Air and M83. These are big big names in the field of electronic music, but based on his recent output, Terstappen isn’t far behind. With this album and the new Yoshiba 87 moniker Terstappen takes another big leap towards the zenith of electronic music making. Hopefully the positive reception of Beaming Flowers From India will prompt him to flex his muscles even more.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get my pompons and start cheering under Terstappen’s bedroom window. (Editor’s note: BAMM.TV takes no responsibility for any nightmares incurred by the thought of Jasper dressed as a cheerleader).