Champagne Champagne’s Private Party EP is built on contradictions and juxtapositions. The song ‘Four Horsemen’ sets the tone for the record, dancing in the face of Armageddon while simultaniously cautioning us to run and hide. The EP’s production captures the feeling of being in the audience for one of their shows. It’s balanced and clean. Pearl and Thomas rap as if it’s still possible to have fun, and all the nuances of Gajamagic’s beats shine like leaves floating on a sunlit river. This is summer music, music for late night parties in unfamiliar apartments, music to remind you to go see Champagne one more time before fall arrives.’Peer Pressure’ nods to old school rap with lots of space in the beat and limited instruments above a bottomless synth baseline. The agogo bells come in and it’s a teenage LL, it’s that same late night summer party gone haunted and legendary.

All of the worlds that Champagne inhabit are realized in these tight seven tracks. It’s post modern bravado, and later stripped and raw lyrics, it’s synths, and rock drums, and two emcees spitting between the beats. Right in the middle of the EP is one of my favorite tracks. ‘Black Bart Simpson’ is both sweet and celebratory, with cartoon characters kick-flipping around their memories while thicknesses of baselines and soaring guitar make this song feel like the EP’s climax. That however comes next with the perfected version of ‘Soda and Poprocks,’ existing here as close as any of these songs come to the feeling of seeing them live. Back to the party. We know the words to the chorus, and we clap along.

Champagne Champagne is playing Neumos this Thursday, September 13th. Tickets are $10 in advance, and available here. They’ll have copies of the EP for sale in CD and limited edition 10″ vinyl formats. Make it rain on their dials like doppler.


Culture Review: Champagne Champagne's Private Party EP