Be not fooled. Although Snow & Lace’s debut is titled “Mixtape One,” this isn’t rap. Instead, it’s 30 minutes and 30 seconds of chilled-to-the-max ambient music, split evenly into two parts, aptly titled “Movement One” and “Movement Two.”
The Oklahoma act lets one musical idea slowly unfold into the next, creating a flowing mood.
“Movement One” is based in a slowly picked acoustic guitar and features distant drumming for energy. The music and passionate radio sample of an unnamed rock star’s deadly accident create a memorable point in the first cut. The whole thing is underlaid with an easy, noninvasive drone that pulls the multiple parts together.
The second piece is deeply minimalist and ambient, relying heavily on slowbuilding synths. The acoustic guitar and drums disappear, leaving only keyboards and mild-mannered beats. A clip of Oklahoma City weather radio dominates the back half, with the drone and a forlorn piano providing a surprising gravitas.
“Mixtape One” surprised me. Snow & Lace handles the highs and lows of the genre well to create pieces that are emotive and affecting. The results are a solid and mature ambient release, which you can download for free at snowandlace.com. —Stephen Carradini