Now I Feel It is the first full-length release from Ryan Olcott performing under the name c.Kostra. Olcott has been active in the music scene for two decades fronting various projects, and his newest release is filled with plenty of ambition. It has its share of hits and misses like any risk-taking album should, and its refreshing sound would make a lasting impression on just about any listener.
I will admit that my knowledge in the electronic field is minimal, but I enjoy a lot of the subtleties in c.Kostra’s music. The album’s ten tracks are riddled with upbeat and feel-good samples that sound trapped in a very ambient and dream-like state. All vocals in this album are sung by Olcott through a vocoder filter, which helps the dreamy vibe. The lyrics are never at the forefront of any song but, during songs like “Double Crush” where the main hook seems to be glitchy, altered variations of the phrase, “I’ve got a double crush on you” get tiring after so much repetition.
This glitch effect is common throughout the album, and is pretty popular in vaporwave music, as far as I can tell. Although the dead stops and starts in any given beat are distracting, it provides an element of unpredictability that works better in some songs than others. Each track is a new experience, and different from the last, but never strays far from the familiar lounge feel that the album revolves around. There are certain songs that I just can’t enjoy no matter how I interpret the utilized samples, while other tracks like “Heart To Heart” and “Your Call” have all the elements come together very nicely.
There’s still something stopping me from truly loving the songs on this album, maybe it’s my unfamiliarity with the genre, or maybe the glitch elements are too much for my taste. Whatever it is, all these pieces even out Now I Feel It to about an average score but don’t let that fool you. This isn’t your average album. In fact, it may just be my gateway into to discovering a whole deeper level of electronica.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy