Quarantine has us all stuck inside. For some, this means binging their favorite shows; for others, it means finally starting that closet clean-out. For Channel Tres, it meant creating the gorgeous new EP, i can't go outside. With buttery baritone vocals and head bobbing beats, Tres has carefully crafted an iteration of Chicago house injected with a cool, calm, and collected West Coast finish.
The EP's title track intro, "i can't go outside," starts with a physical inhale and exhales with strings, ethereal drapes of what resembles the dewey soprano of a wet Wurlitzer, rhythmic reverses and the line, "I need to stop waking up in cold sweats," before a swung drum kit sneaks in. The sublime body of work also features songs like, "2000 chevy malibu," which is driven by a swelling '80s galactic synth or "skate depot," which is marked by a house beat with triplet hats, a clapping snare, a vocoder, sample stabs, and vocals as smooth as Tres' roller skating in the song's accompanying music video.
Tres fans include Elton John and Tyler, the Creator, who added a verse on "fuego," the EP's fifth track, which is driven by a saucy, dark distorted bass line and suspended horns, before entering a dreamy halftime world with a stunning keys solo. Tres guides the outro with the words, "Human contact don’t exist / Human contact is a risk / Full moon, full moon…"
The Compton-born songwriter and producer initially planned to be a social worker, while growing up inspired not only by church music, but also by that of Marvin Gaye, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and notably Toro y Moi, telling DIY Mag, "it was cool to see another black artist being labelled as experimental." Tres was introduced to the industry as a beatmaker, touring with Duckwrth as his DJ. That is, until spring of 2018, when he stepped out from behind the turntable and began sharing his voice with the world.
With his latest outing, Tres has brought to life a unique blend of house and hip-hop, with a touch of soul cherried on top for good measure. Though none of us can really go outside, we're thankful to have Tres' gently transcendent music as an escape.
Listen to i can't go outside below: