Goldbloc’s Black Gold EP showcases an unusual electronica-meets-soul sound, filtering the intimacy of The Weeknd through the off-beat and often brilliant experimentation of TV on the Radio. The four songs on Black Gold flow together like variations on a theme, creating a short but cohesive listening experience.

The most intriguing part of Goldbloc’s style is their use of carefully layered vocals, in which the background vocals become an instrument in and of themselves. This clever use of vocal loops distinguishes Goldbloc in a market flooded with downtempo electronica. If you don’t appreciate the experimental edge of this EP, give it one or two more listens. It might require repeated exposure, but the reward is worth it; this is music meant to be listened to late at night with headphones, when one can appreciate the subtle production and haunted lyrics.

The opener, “Days Are Dreaming,” builds delicately and layers upon itself, creating a pattern that the rest of the tracks follow. The soulful yet electronically-processed vocals are pleasingly disorienting, particularly on the Black Gold’s sensual title track. If there ever was a doubt that human emotion cannot be adequately expressed through an inorganic medium, Goldbloc is evidence to the contrary. Producer Goldenhaus and singer Solei have created a little gem of musical chemistry.

The excellent closer, “Dreams of Mine,” is carried by the strongest hook on the EP, a melodic vocal line that evokes Moby.  By the end of the track, it’s clear that this EP’s biggest shortcoming is that it’s very short—just 16 minutes. If Goldbloc maintain their style and expand on the ideas here then there’s going to be a very worthwhile album on the way.

Black gold, indeed.

Album Review: Goldbloc - Black Gold
  • Richly atmospheric production
  • Clever use of vocals
  • Earworm melodies
  • The sound remains relatively uniform throughout
8Overall Score

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