One might wonder what the agenda is for Philly-based producer ivoryHAUS, what with the ivory trade being such a problem in recent years and Trump quietly lifting the ban on elephant trophy hunting and import while making a lot of noise about a wall. A glance at ivoryHAUS, or Noa Spott’s bio, however, will reveal that he is on the right side of history with this one, and that in fact 25% of all proceeds made on his upcoming self-titled album will be donated to the Save the Elephants charity. A great cause, and luckily ivoryHAUS also happens to be some of the best ambient dream pop since Tycho. Sounds like a win-win.
Erring on the classical side of dream pop, Spott’s style is, indeed, Tycho-esque but with quite a bit more experimental composition and thus more EDM umph. He’s slowly releasing singles until the album’s release date on September 14, with “Clouds,” the first single, already out and another release August 17. “Clouds” sets the tone for the album with its experimental/classical composition and ambient sound design. The drums on this track are very Tycho or even Washed Out, while the piano track that carries the melody is modern classical, which is to say it’s written in classical style but it’s original and modern composition.
Despite all this ambient and classical yap, the feel much of the album is quite rooted in EDM. The album’s opening track, “Orange Sky,” has a breakbeat reminiscent of 90s trip hop while the next single to come out shortly, “Sweet Dreams” is a sort of cross between UKG and minimal trance beat-wise. The upcoming single also has a very trancy secondary melody which carries the piano work in this case.
In actual fact in terms of beat structure, this album runs the gamut of EDM formats: “Good Morning” has a dubstep beat while “Forests” is a throwback 80s synthwave style. “Sadr Region” is straight up ambient with a jazzy, synthy halftime break and “Searching for Saturn,” believe it or not, borders on industrial. Ambient industrial? Sure why not. If Spott can pull it off, any beat structure is fair game, and this producer clearly loves playing with different styles of beats in conjunction with his style.
Said style is really summed up in the album’s last track, “Alleviate,” where all the different styles, techniques and instruments Spott used in the album come together in a synthy cahophony and a broken house beat with some keys and ambient noise to boot. It’s a great way to end the album and for Spott to fully introduce himself as ivoryHAUS. This album is definitely one to anticipate and with it this producer will hopefully see a revival of ambient dream pop with his own EDM spin on it. He will also hopefully make a dent in fighting the ivory trade.
ivoryHAUS’s debut self-titled album will release on September 14, and the single “Clouds” can be streamed on Soundcloud and Spotify. Look for the release of the second single “Sweet Dreams” on August 17 as well, and if you can’t buy the whole album please consider donating to Save the Elephants. ivoryHAUS also livstreams new music every Monday on Twitch.