Bro, Where’s My Four Track? Boy Dude Arrives with ‘Cassette For You’

Evan Gabriel examines the mysterious debut from Boy Dude.
By    December 13, 2017

boy dude

Evan Gabriel hates the fuckin’ Eagles.

The Tascam Portastudio 4 track recorder is an archaic little device. Four channels allow you to layer and mix a song’s essential parts directly onto cassette. While it provides the basics, working on it is anything but convenient. Compare hitting ⌘+z to the emotional throws of re-recording album passes and accidentally taping over something else of value. But even so, with its primitive tape magic, the Portastudio enabled the naturally warm sound of Boy Dude’s album, Cassette For You.

As a Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist and music producer, Jordan Chini has only recently began releasing music under the name Boy Dude. This 8-track album is exceptionally fit for bright sun and listeners who share the water sign. The LP’s vintage aesthetic is the result of Dude’s background. He began compiling ideas for Cassette For You while digging through the record collection of his father, the bandleader, multi-instrumentalist, and former Motown songwriter, Robert Chini.

On top of guitars, vintage synths and the 4 Track Recorder, Dude followed the natural musical trajectory that’s long been rooted in his upbringing to create Cassette For You. “Cosmic Lines” unpacks the project’s otherwise dancy feel; some saxophone from Garret Babcock, a slower BPM, and the sheen of Dude’s voice revitalize the soul influence. The lyrics speak to the LP’s motif of using highly synthesized tools to reveal natural beauty: “Catching rocks and the rainbows, far from the sand.” This segues perfectly into the project’s standout, “Rainbow Waterfalls,” a pastel fantasy land of vox vocals and happy, soothing chords.

All of this happens before we’re boosted back into the video game funk of “Mercury Satellite.” From here, the pace stays up. With its robotic voice drop intro and staggered reverb, this track recalls a Com Truise composition. Dude’s vocal strength shines hardest on “More Than Love.” But the Princesque guitar pluckings and abrupt pauses on “Funk On The Line” really reveal Dude’s range as both a player and arranger.

If Boy Dude has released music under different handles in the past, I’m unaware of them at the time of this writing. Nevertheless, this incarnation is seemingly working. In just over a month since releasing the project, Cassette For You has racked up a healthy feed from fans, with only 5 cassettes still available on the Bandcamp page. Grab yours before they’re finito.