This week a taste we all despise, becomes a vibe we all love. Toothpaste & Orange Juice is an EP released by an artist formally not on our radar, MAXD. MAXD’s August 30th release takes us through seven songs of just remarkably raw music. His complex use of so many different sounds, yet smooth melding together, provides the listener with something so strange but fresh. So break out the Crest and the Minute Maid, as we talk through Toothpaste and Orange Juice.
This week we wanted to take a route we haven’t yet. Covering an artist we have had no experience with. We did a lot of research on new releases, and with the help of an RNG app ended up with MAXD. Toothpaste & Orange Juice is his first off SoundCloud EP, and what allowed us to find MAXD to begin with. Thank goodness we did.
Toothpaste & Orange Juice is a fresh step away from a lot of mainstream EDM. There has become strong groupings of song types and genres within EDM, and MaXD does a lot to break those barriers. Toothpaste & Orange Juice is this wonderful experiment of using raw sound so magnificently. He takes sounds from both ends of the spectrum and every spot in between.
The sound diversity refracts through the first song onto the rest of the album. “Mow- Intro” could be the title song of the album, because you almost see its style echoing throughout. MAXD gently comes up into this groovy and morphing song. Staying with the same base tempo, we move everywhere while listening. We hear sounds of raw instruments, to electronically produced sounds, and sound that are the morphed love child of the two. All of that brings a certain layered grooviness, to our ears. Opening us up to the idea of not having expectations of what’s ahead, just knowing that whatever happens it can’t be bad.
Moving to track two, “Sleepy” is again another rendition of EDM we don’t really see. We begin feeling this pop EDM sort of lyrical vibe, but then realize it is so much more. The lyrical style doesn’t change, but the style and beat morphs around it. The song title fits, because it is like this happy dream that has this seeming plot, but moves in different directions. The kind that wake you up with a smile, because they really took you to so many different places in your mind. This phenomenon is our vocab word of the week, which is “lucid vibing”. Songs that just take you through so much happiness through the whole song, so much it feels like your almost dreaming.
After the happiness of “Sleepy”, we move into another seemingly pop EDM song. Again MAXD adds this twist that seems to move and live around the lyrics. Not using repetition to make you enjoy and want to sing, but using unpredictability. Introducing new sounds to compliment the vocals, and new paths to make the vocals progress. We feel this again in “Touch”, but the vocals and sounds take us to a little more of a relaxing lower place. There is this sensual and smooth feeling by the poetic singing which the sound mirrors. It makes you feel like your laying on a cloud body rolling: fully surrounded and being moved by the music.
“Don’t Close Your Eyes” continues to keep us in an almost sedated state. Yet giving another union we have not seen. This song has light vocals that establish a sense of being “lost in the night”, which are then complemented by this more intense rapping. The rap is less melodic, and more conversational/informational. It stands out in the song like bold text. Mixed with the rhythm and sound created by MAXD, you feel almost alone with the vocalist, as he talks through the song. Such a synthesis of lower relaxation, but also anxious engagement.
This anxious engagement flows so well into “Stuart”, which establishes an intensity. The rap vocals are much more lyrical than the preceding track. The lyrical style LoneMoon uses has this amazing effect on the song. It allows for the lyrics of the song and the beat to be braided together. The rap isn’t to the beat, and the beat isn’t crafted for the lyrics instead they feel made for each other equally. You hear and feel their codependence on each other as we travel through the song. The lyrics and rhythm are moving around each other and urging your body to move with them. We couldn’t help but bob and sway our heads as we sat and listened. This song is just such a constantly progressing thought, there is no going back to anything before it just keeps moving.
“Stuart” moves us right into the last song of Toothpaste & Orange Juice: “Damsel- Outro”. “Damsel- Outro” again is a lyric-less synthesis of so many different. sounds. It is gentle, similar to “Mow”, but adopts less of a groovy coming up feeling and more of a hopping deep conclusion. By using lower register sounds, with the gentle tone, it really does indicate the end of the EP.
MAXD’s Toothpaste & Orange Juice is truly a mixing of such different flavors. Taking tastes from minty fresh clean sounds and citrusy rhythm, it makes this uncommon taste profile for EDM. Unlike mixing the two in reality, it builds a very satisfying and interesting flavor. For a debut EP, MAXD truly profiled himself well. He has shown us movement and change within a single song can be done so well. We are truly satisfied to have been able to listen to this EP, and are excited to see the growth to come for an artist who makes such unique music.
Until next week.