The Mira EP is the second electronic release from Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio and follows on from last year's Sunburn EP. Baio's first release came out of the so-hot-right-now label Greco-Roman whilst this comes from Aussie label Future Classic and builds on the melancholic but warm and Balearic sounds that Baio is busy making his own as part of this side project.
I'm quite a fan of Vampire Weekend's increasingly sophisticated sound and lyrical sophistication but Mira is enjoyable precisely for being something completely different. To anyone not aware of Baio's electronic work this release will come as a surprise... The EP's title track is built from a chunky groove, with heavy, funky bass that betrays Baio's instrument of choice in his band. Some liberal reverb, sharp synth stabs and minimal drum patterns make this a deep track that still retains an emotional resonance.
Baio's own vocals are given a prominent position on "Welterweight", a track that rides a grimey analogue bass line and features some big house melodies that give the track a more rounded out feel. It's slightly all over the place, complex and messy and big, but very enjoyable... An uplifting an celebratory moment.
"Zona" is based on a heavy calypso vibe that actually marks the EP's closest moment to Vampire Weekend's own material, but it's still a deep electronic piece full of big chords and hard, bumping drums. Final track 'Banj' is darker, a bluesy feeling tech-house track that once again creates atmosphere through ambience and reverb, an appropriate bookend to the EP's title track.
Mira is out now through Future Classic, available on MP3 from Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link]. Check out the title track on Soundcloud below: