Doss is a solo electronic artist who's managed to keep her identity relatively mysterious so far. The FADER reports that she's "a girl named Baby from Minnesota," Grimes declared her fandom via a picture on her Tumblr, and that's about all we know at this point. Whoever she is, her self-titled EP is now streaming on SoundCloud, and it's full of ethereal beauty. Listen above.
Acephalé, a label that has released like-minded projects by Korallreven and Elite Gymnastics, describes the Doss EP as "the true sound of tomorrow," which ironically, sounds a lot like '90s dance tunes a la Kylie Minogue. There's the charmingly chintzy quality of most of the EP's electronic percussion, the use of the Amen break on "Extended Mix," and Doss' vocals, which play out like a ghostly redux of "diva house," all of which point towards a thoroughly retro release. Amid all this, there's also an air of regret and sadness that, for obvious reasons, never really pervades most "club music." Doss touched on this via a tag on the EP's SoundCloud page, cheekily calling her music “Emotional Dance Music” as a play on the prevailing tag "EDM."
Doss's tracks never really come into focus as individual compositions, but the 17-minute-long EP might be stronger because of that. Were each track extended into more typical dance music lengths and allowed to have build-ups, bridges, and bona fide hooks, defining characteristics of each might be more obvious, but then Doss wouldn't be the bite-sized confection that it is right now (shout-out to the pink artwork for triggering my use of the word "confection"). The trance-y "The Way I Feel" splits its time between hard-hitting beats and tranquility, giving way to the tropical strains of "Softpretty," which maintains a similar tempo. Things slow down for "Here Tonight," which uses a slowed-down drum break that I also recognize, but pick up again at a drum and bass breakdown midway through the track. Closer "Extended Mix" uses the aforementioned Amen break to great effect, synthesizing it with other choppy elements of the song, among which exists a superb loop of someone singing a high-pitched "waaaaaaaa" that's allowed to hover over several measures.
If you're not a fan of reverb-drenched, indie-leaning dance music, the Doss EP probably won't change your mind, but it might charm your pants off. Situations it seems made to soundtrack range from addled, early morning walks home to playing vintage video games, but personally, I'll probably use it as a pick-me-up whenever I'm feeling disenchanted and lacking in youthful spirit. Doss makes dance music that still has senses of wonder and curiosity ingrained in it, reminding us of bygone eras when chart-toppers and club omnipresence weren't sure things for the genre, and sometimes that's exactly what residents of the 21st century need.
Buy the Doss EP from Acephalé.
Source: Doss Official SoundCloud Page