Review: Shanti Celeste – ‘Tangerine’ (Peach Discs)

Among the dreary drabness of many situations in the present day, Shanti Celeste’s Tangerine provides a much needed dose of Vitamin D (and C), radiating a warm and wholly welcoming glow from each and every slice of music within it. It seems the album format has given Shanti the freedom to create, unchained from restriction and this quite frankly shows. The first marker of this can be found in Shanti’s curation of her music, done in such a way that energy and momentum is built or sustained at high levels.

Greeted by the near yogic ‘Sun Notification’ rippling textures and mellifluous instrumentation instil us with a sense of blissful ease, only before the first spike of energy in the second track! ‘Infinitas’ picks up pace with unrelenting rubbery kicks and crisp hats, continuing the thread of bliss as those musical components feel particularly satisfying. Feeling perfectly attuned to early morning sunshine sets with bodies gently hugging and grooving into the dawn, this vision is enveloped by ‘Infinitas’.

At this point, Shanti has already pumped up the anti considerably, yet she keeps this flowing with some friendly tension in ‘May The Day’; quirky, croaking modulations and electrical rave-tinged flourishes are met and underpinned with lightly booming periodic drum hits. Respite is found in ‘Natura’, an interlude style track that allows Shanti to further unveil musical preferences that extended beyond the realms of a dancefloor; this track is aptly placed in preparation for what is soon to ensue.

‘Aqua Block’ bubbles with bouncy kick arrangements and sizzling elements that sit slightly lower in the mix, the twinkling melody unfolds bringing with it smiles all-round. Continuing on an ascent to euphoric heights, ‘Sesame’ ramps things up with a markedly stabbing low-end. Soaring synths and ever-so-light hi’s flow under a gentle and cheeky horn that toots in time with the tone of Shanti’s own voice, used much like a synth and marrying everything together. The low-end stabs pierce through the mix in a way that truly electrifies the body, a sure winner for the club.

Much likened to the aforementioned ‘Natura’, ‘Slow Wave’ is a heavenly area of release within the otherwise pulsing running order of the album. Exactly as the name would suggest, ‘Slow Wave’ is a meditative flow through varying angelic chords and tones, again, some coming from Shanti herself, accentuating a sense of utopia.

The murkiest of all ten is ‘Voz (Instrumental)’. Taking down the tempo and bringing snake-charmer vibes in plentiful measure, ravey spikes echo among a swirling continuum and groaning inflections. ‘Want’ delivers what we long for from Shanti, full throttle. Rubbery kicks return with extra elasticity, shooting stars sizzle and glide before the induction of breaky elements and a beautifully boisterous rave siren. Warming organs bring the euphoria whilst the final peak is truly maximised by Shanti’s highly mischievous and expertly crafted breakdown; leaving us begging for more. Setting the final scene with ‘Moons’, a tranquil, soundscape-y six minutes layered with field recordings of the natural world and equally naturistic melodies, mildly pulsing bass gradually halts as Shanti bids us a fond farewell.

All in all, the freedom Shanti allowed herself across this album can be heard and felt not only in the way it has been constructed, but also in the breadth and depth of each and every track. Listening back to Shanti’s previous EP productions, whilst effective you can see a sure upgrade in the richness of sounds presented across Tangerine; we find music that is multifaceted and multi-dimensional. The way in which Shanti layers and experiments with components, allows ‘Tangerine’ to ooze with qualities and characteristics that can only come from her. ‘Tangerine’ is a project that she has quite clearly poured herself into, manifesting in a unique body of work that injects tasteful colour and flavour.

Tangerine is out now on Peach Discs.

Words: Sophie McNulty

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