Familiar comfort is not something one should expect from The After-School Special. And yet despite occasionally stumbling into genre-hopping gimmicks and desolate urban soundscapes, Anton Salvador hasn’t lost the knack for glitchy, bass-thumping bangers that rip holes in your subwoofers while slowly entrancing you in a deep club slumber.
“What Cool Kids,” the new track off his upcoming album, Parallels works on this premise: echoing elements of his early work with grimy, distorted beats and chopped vocal loops in an attempt to find pleasure in claustrophobic spaces. Here, Anton puts a misty, fractured spin on nocturnal R&B, and draws most of its inflections from the quiet-storm splatters of The Weeknd. It’s difficult to tell if it’s a deconstruction of the hype that has come to define the experimental end of urban music in the past few years. But he leaves enough mystery to keep us hitting the replay button, a sonic sludge that sounds every bit as isolated and sensual as the fantasies we tend to revisit before we sleep.