Deepak Mantena, aka Junk Culture, has a new EP under his arms called Summer Friends. I have no idea what genre it resides under, but I'm certain that it's a hard record to get into.

All the songs have a chaotic, pandemonium feeling to it. Made from layer upon layer (think a Hanoi tower) of samples from over the years, plus Deepak Mantena's voice sampled (also layered), this record is full of atmosphere. If it sounds like Dirty Projectors, it isn't. On paper it does, but this is way more dreamy and lo-fi, sometimes with samples that could've come out from a toy. Besides, in Dirty Projectors, the voices can be a little over the top, even annoying in some parts, whereas with Junk Culture, there's no issue with that.

The problem with this chaotic approach is that some songs have strange structures that are a little hard to digest. Maybe the easiest one to get into is 'Honeysuckle', a sweet song that doesn't take long to become an earworm. 'Weird teenage vibes' feels very tribal, like a strange and soothing camp-fire song and another 'easy-listening' track. This doesn't mean the other four are unbearable to listen to, it's just harder to get into them.

Actually, scratch the idea about the Summer Friends being lo-fi, sometimes it's no-fi ('Golden Girl'), but still, there is a certain charm to the songs, maybe a little geeky side that surfaces from time to time. There's a couple of videogame sounds in 'Summer Friends' and 'Blissed out', the bookend of this very strange EP.

You gotta admire Mantena for finding use for a plethora of samples to create such original music. Although samey, Summer Friends does have an enchanting feeling to it. In some cases it works ('Honeysuckle'), and in others it doesn't ('Cozy girl'). Your mileage may vary with this one.

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