The Greatest Hoax – “X-Plane Joy Ride” (Stereogum Premiere)

The Greatest Hoax is the pseudonym of DC-based pianist, composer, and producer Taylor Jordan. He is comfortable and deft in the overlapping portion of the Venn diagram between classical and electronic music. Jordan is gearing up to release his Special Cases EP later this month, and lead single “Pyrogens” was our first taste of him moving away from gorgeous but gloomy piano melodies of last year’s Enso or 2014’s “Opus No. 21” and making more room for ambient sounds. His latest offering from the EP, “X-Plane Joy Ride” goes deeper into the abstract electro realm, and it is spectacular.

X-Plane is a flight simulation computer game that is easy to get lost in. I played it once and was bored out of my mind, but I know others who can simulate flying planes for hours. If the game’s soundtrack was anything like “X-Plane Joy Ride” I would definitely reconsider. Jordan sonically translates what it’s like to soar through the air, whether real or simulated. Bouncy blips, space-age synths, swooping atmospheric sweeps, and syncopated drums playfully pan from left to right to give the exhilarating feeling of air whisking by. The track is also weirdly relaxing because Jordan has found just the right combination of sounds as a pilot would find the ideal altitude for coasting smoothly through the clouds. Listen.

The Special Cases EP is out 3/11 via Manimal.