Album Review: Coloringbook – Candy Island

I was somewhere in Belgium, slumping on the edge of my desk, when the sound began to take hold.

The best way to describe Candy Island is that it feels like a DJ took seven turntables and mixed seven vinyls at once, layering them one on top of each other until… they just fit. Somehow. Why and how it works, I don’t know. One could try to reproduce this for months and still be unable to reach the equilibrium obtained by Caleidisco. What? Who’s that? Caleidisco is apparently the new name of Nicholas Gathany‘s act, previously known as Coloringbook. You follow? This is important, goddammit!
Anyway: to anyone who knows how hard it actually is to make layers of sounds fit together, Candy Island is nothing short of a minor miracle.

Wait, did I say minor?

Good memories coming back from that 37 hours-straight coding session. Joy and admiration at my office desk while breaks loops and candy-covered melodies blast through my headphones… Forget what you know about music and notes. Listening to Candy Island is like overdosing on sound waves. And yeah, it feels great.

There’s a trick you know! When data is missing, such as audio information in this case, your brain tends to compensate in order to make sense of it all. It’s a bit like watching a David Lynch movie: no matter how many times you’ve been told that you’re NOT supposed to make any sense of it… you’re still going to try and see things that are simply not there. So I guess that if David Lynch had taken high doses of acid and teamed up with Timothy Leary to make a music album, this would be the result.

Coloringbook somehow manages to play with that, but instead he overflows you with musical data until your brain starts building bridges to tie it together.

Or to put it another way: if progressive house was a straight line, thumping at regular pace while slowly building itself, then Candy Island would be a 200ft high roller-coaster on speed that shakes you ’till your teeth rattle. Maybe you remember Fatboy Slim and Big Beat? That’s what we’re listening at. Only with a warp drive switch stuck to factor 10. Oh wait, I think this one goes up to eleven…

At my venerable age I’ve witnessed and experienced a sh!tload of music styles: new beat, acid music, house, techno, breaks, big beat, progressive, electro, hiphop, triphop… That’s about when I started to get bored with it all. But I’ve got a hunch that Caleidisco / Coloringbook’s Candy Island might be pointing towards the next big trend in music. So grab it, absorb it and trip on it while it’s fresh.


Coloringbook’s full album is available on Ektoplazm, or as one single mix on Youtube. Make sure you also check the man’s website and Bandcamp page (especially if you’re looking for it’s latest album: Marshmallow Moon).


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