Kenton Slash Demon – “Harpe” (Stereogum Premiere)

When you’re a little kid everything is fun. Going to the store and making a new friend were moments of pure elation for me as a child, and stumbling upon a simple slide or swing set felt like hitting the jackpot when I was younger. The primary joy of my youth, though, was jumping on a trampoline. My cousins had a trampoline — a Big Trampoline, we’d call it — and I can remember few happier moments from my preteen years than when I was catapulting toward the sky on that big black tarp of elastic elation. This was unfettered happiness, back before I knew there was pain much greater than a scraped knee, or that the world could become impossibly tangled with guilt, confusion, and betrayal. Those moments were all about weightless flight; the the sky was closer than any of earth’s clumsy minutia.

I share that memory because that moment because that’s the only way to describe the perfect, utter exuberance of Kenton Slash Demon’s “Harpe.” In case you’re unfamiliar with the electronic duo, Kenton Slash Demon is Silas Moldenhawer and Jonas Kenton, and their circuitous, effervescent music mimics the euphoric connection of the dance floor and the inner monologue of the self. Moldenhawer and Kenton grew up together in Copenhagen, which might help explain why their music is affecting on such visceral and innocent level. But the duo have gained something of a cult following in the Sydney club scene too, and were just signed to the Australian independent label Future Classic (Flume, Chet Faker, Jagwar Ma).

“Harpe” kicks off like an old Velvet Underground sample warped and wrapped in the tiny coo of an insistent child. By the time all the clicks, pops, and fuzzed-out “yeahs” hit, you’re already lost in a beat that shimmers by as delicate as a butterfly wing. This gorgeous thing unspools for nearly seven minutes, morphing chameleon-like through symphony strings and wobbling dubs of various sleek synthesizers, driven endlessly on by that chopped-up cry of child-like glee. If you need something to soundtrack your last seven minutes on earth, throw on “Harpe.” It’s a song that encompasses the full spectrum of human emotion, coating every possibility in a glaze of dark rapture.

The “Harpe” b/w “Syko” 12-inch is out 9/18 via Future Classic.