There’s no shortage of people making whimsical, melody-focussed electronica, and in the wrong hands (ie. the vast majority of the time) it can come across as overly sincere or laughably lightweight. Varsity Star hits the tricky-to-find sweet spot here with Mixtape – the lead single from a forthcoming mini-LP – pairing crushed, broken beats with a glistening synth line and demonstrating it’s perfectly possibly to make something beautiful yet punchy in this genre, as long as you get the balance just right.
Varsity Star is a Brooklyn-based electronic musician who grew up in the suburbs of Boston, but relocated to Berlin after a “biblical flea infestation” made his apartment uninhabitable. His remix of Coolgirl’s Gaussian Blur amplifies some of the more retro-leaning electronic elements of the original, upping the tempo and adding furious, Squarepusher-esque drums to run alongside the neon synth lines. By turns franticly glitchy and soothingly warm, it’s an assured reimagining of what was already a strong record.