Release Date: Feb 10, 2014
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
In retrospect, Cashmere Cat's 2012 debut, "Mirror Maru," single-handedly fleshed out the aesthetic that Norwegian producer Magnus Høiberg would become famous for. Elegant and pristine, his take on hip-hop is easy to like, but it's less obvious how he managed to propel himself into the ranks of EDM stars. There are no big drops in his tracks—in fact, many of them turn inward just when you think they're about to explode.
Sure he's remixed and handled production work for Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Lana Del Rey, and other chart climbers, but on his Wedding Bells EP, Norwegian producer Magnus August Høiberg, aka Cashmere Cat, offers a surprisingly subdued and attractively lazy batch of rainy-day EDM. Don't get it twisted, as this cloudy stuff sits better with music from the "indie" section than something like Deadmau5 or Swedish House Mafia, and yet all the tinkling and drifting found on opening track "With Me" is broken up by a bona fide dubstep bass drop, even if this bass drop crackles with the sound of glitch and lands its punch in a much softer than usual wubba, wubba. If deconstructing pop is his thing, then the title cut is the sound of R&B lying in a million little pieces on some downtown loft floor, while "Rice Rain" borrows R.
Until 2009, Magnus August Hoiberg was representing Norway as a finalist in the DMC World DJ Championships. After releasing his first EP three years later and making madcap remixes of Lana Del Rey and 2 Chainz tracks, popstar producer Benny Blanco invited him to Los Angeles, giving the music world an indication of Hoiberg’s potential. This year he releases Wedding Bells, his second EP under the Cashmere Cat moniker, and to anyone weary of all the fanfare given to the chart-topping DJs du jour, this might just be your lifeboat.
Cashmere Cat's 2012 EP Mirror Maru meant big things for producer Magnus August Høiberg—it's just that one of those big things was the opportunity to be yet another argument starter regarding what bass music/pop/R&B crossover is actually supposed to accomplish. The star track seems clear enough: remix headliner stars like Lana Del Rey and 2 Chainz, get in the good graces/setlist rotation of Hudson Mohawke and Diplo, cop one of those coveted Grand Theft Auto soundtrack slots, and let the buzz build with the same simmering groundswell that his beats possess. His remixes were fine recontextualizations, supplanting the faster/bigger/now structure of the originals' don't-touch-that-dial immediacy with more pillowy melodies and gentler crests.
Cashmere Cat is beyond good and evil. As we all know, the rules of cheese are different in Scandinavia and it’s possible for Little Dragon, Lykke Li, Miike Snow, Todd Terje, Trentemøller and Pepe Deluxe to combine outrageous feyness and cuteness with out-there and off-beam sounds in ways that anyone else outside Japan would really struggle to carry off – but even so, CC is on some next level cheese-wrangling. These four tracks sound, more or less, like Swindle attempting to remake ‘Windowlicker’ as an anime soundtrack.