Andras and Oscar – Cafe Romantica

Andras and Oscar is the electronic collaborative project between two household names in electronic music, Oscar Key Sung and Andras Fox. Well, perhaps not household names as such, but definitely two artists that are making their mark on Melbourne’s chic little community of beatsmiths. Their project has spawned a mini album, a Boiler Room session and a handful of pretty dope singles, all of which has finally led to the duo’s most cohesive release yet – Cafe Romantica.

andras and oscar

Cafe Romantica is an electronic exploration of Cappuchinotronica. Light, yet reflective, we predict Andras and Oscar’s release to be an underrated hit this spring/summer.

If we ignore the fact that the album is named for a real East Brunswick cafe, it might not be so strange that this album is vaguely reminiscent of Coffeehouse culture. Light, yet reflective, the album seems to ooze the vibe of wrought iron seating, the smell of roasted beans wafting through the night air and the art of sneaky muffin consumption. It’s got a unique ambience to it, a combination of pretty synthesisers, warm sexy swells and strong, confident percussion. Cafe Romantica might just be a genre defining album, taking vapor and chillwave out of the bedrooms of Ableton addicts and into the physical realm of the bearded barista, the wannabe novelist and those on maternity leave – Cappuchinotronica.

The album opens with Friendship Theme, which follows in the footsteps of local producers like Oliver Tank, Andy Bull and to some extent Donny Benet, who are retaking the cheesy synth-lick from 1980’s commercialism and radio pop musicians for use in their respective undergrounds. As such, there’s a lot here that borders on the obscenely mainstream, but it’s lengthy, non-pop structure saves the duo from any hint of averageness.

Everytime I Go  definitely stands out as single material. Perhaps it’s the four to the floor kick which evokes every dance track from tech to house to Mumford and Sons. Perhaps it’s that catchy vocal hook that you’ll find yourself singing at inappropriate times. Perhaps it’s the fact that Everytime I Go was released about a month ago as a standalone single. Whatever it is, Everytime I Go stands out as a track to get yourself down to.

Worth noting too are the excellent instrumentals Take Our Time and Tutorials. The former really highlights the strength of the percussion on these productions, strangely melodic samples and sequences seem to work side by side with the pops and clicks of decayless synth stabs. The track’s layering rather cleverly belies the sheer amount that is happening in the track, each instrument slotting tetris-like into place with each other, only ever sounding busy when it’s necessary. Tutorials, like the rest of Cafe Romantica seems aptly named – it’s shuffling beats and  piano melodies remind me of hours wiled away learning the basic controls and mechanics for video games I would never finish.

Finally, French Twist pops the lid on a little bassline far funkier than anything previously heard on the record. It’s a surprising track, the best bit most definitely being the undercurrents of reverberated Japanese speech that seem to dance messily underneath the otherwise clean cut track.

An album for late nights spent polishing latte glasses while the hipster novelists curse the weakness of your free in-house WiFi, Cafe Romantica is a thoroughly therapeutic piece. As relaxing as an afternoon spent catching up with friends over coffee, yet as subtly exciting as ordering an affogato (because why the fuck not?), we’re predicting this dream collab to be the underrated underground hit this Spring/Summer.

Cafe Romantica is out this 17th of October, so go pick up a copy from Chapter Music’s bandcamp this Friday, or from Dopeness Galore if you live in the world of Euros and real coffee.