HIDDEN GEMS i-fls, “uncomfortable chill out” By Jude Noel · February 19, 2020

Tokyo-based producer i-fls bills his music as “lo-fi-based elevator music,” and his muted brand of ambient house is perfectly tailored not only for the elevator, but for anywhere you happen to be stuck killing time: waiting at the bus stop on cold mornings; walking aimlessly around the neighborhood with your hands stuffed into your jacket pockets.

Each i-fls record is awash in digital reverb, its cover featuring the project’s signature pen-sketched avatar. Trance-inspired synth arpeggios and grainy pads fill the space between skeletal drum loops. Uncomfortable chill out, released on Boxing Day 2016, is the ideal entry point into i-fls’ body of work. The album blends his signature ambient collages and sketches with more fleshed-out cuts. “Nasuno” passes the five-minute mark without overstaying its welcome, peppered with melodies that bleep rhythmically. “Candy” dabbles in Midwest emo’s sonic palette, threading a sampled acoustic guitar riff into the mix. Despite its title, uncomfortable chill out snugly resides in club music’s interstitial spaces—breakdowns, bridges, and codas stretched into standalone songs.

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