By Eric Chavez
With its distinct, haunting qualities, Ulterior Motives, the new EP by citizenGreen could be one of the best Atlanta-based produced records of the year. Not the typical southern sound of rap or indie rock, citizenGreen ventures off into a space of minimalist electronica. And even though the album isn’t quite lounge, there is an “after dark” club feeling to the entire record; something to listen to after a night of dancing.
The EP starts off majestically with “Follow Me,” a dark, dramatic production which combines the electronic sounds of the ’80s, the ’90s and the ’00s to make what proves to be one of the most memorable, if not infectious, moments on the record.
If any of these tracks could be called radio-friendly, that title would go to “Motive6732.” While not a conventional Top 40 track, this is the only track on the album with a clear lyrical structure throughout the song and the electronic flute that touches the track throughout makes it for a captivating downtempo-electronica moment on the EP.
The album peaks with “Greenhouse Effect,” with its mix of drungy percussion and euphoric trance-like production. “No Tomarrow” is another highlight on the EP, with its infectious minimalist production. “Foiled the Ruse” sticks out as the only track on the EP to be more influenced by hip-hop than electronica, bearing little resemblance to anything else on the record.
“A Clever Ruse” ventures off into the darker scene, while “Float3r” floats onto a smoother wave of music, perhaps being the closest track resembling current day lounge/electronica artists such as Samantha James and Late Night Allumai.
Only 100 physical copies were printed (though there are unlimited digital copies available), but like the website of the EP’s record company says, it’s homemade, so you know it’s fresh. Even though the record is definitely not your stypical sing-a-long-to-the-hits EP, there is something intriguing about the album, especially at a time when electronca is in full swing with many underground artists (such as Samantha James) beginning to reach fame in their own right.
Atlanta-based producer Chris Amell, AKA citizenGreen, may not reached stellar sales with this EP, but perhaps that isn’t his goal. If his goal were to make an impressive EP with interesting electronic arrangements and an ecclectic mix of smooth, dark, edgy and euphoric tracks that all somehow transition from one to another smoothly, then mission accomplished.