Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

SG Lewis, Robyn & Channel Tres – Impact

The power this has, the Robyn this has…


Will Adams: Robyn brings the sparkle, as always, but Channel Tres brings the depth. His baritone rides the bassline beautifully, cruising into polyrhythms and backing off at just the right time. “Impact” may not be the operative word here; SG Lewis’ electro pulse evokes more a gradual hypnosis. It’s just as effective.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: “Impact” is an enthralling exercise in contrast. Channel Tres’ verses emanate a deep, earthy sexiness, while Robyn’s chorus acrobatically launches into the stratosphere. It’s hot-and-cold house music imbued with the best of what London has to offer, made for sweaty, smoke-filled basements with strangers sure to make an impact, even if only for one night. 

Juana Giaimo: Despite its name, this doesn’t have a big impact; instead, the steady beat slowly gets inside your body. The contrast of Channel Tres’s calm and deep voice with Robyn’s hook is all it needs to avoid being repetitive. 

Nortey Dowuona: SG delivers a lovely synth bass, a rather pedestrian drum beat, and washed-out and plush synth chords. Channel Tres makes a bag out of lazy King Tee bars, taking up so much space while not using it, while Robyn sweeps in, bearhugging the synths to her chest, and flies into the stars, swirling around the buttermilk nebula we’re not smart enough to leave just yet.

Leah Isobel: That ascending bassline hits like a whiff of poppers. God, I miss gay clubs.

Katherine St Asaph: Robyn channels a little “Express Yourself,” SG Lewis channels a little 2011-13 electropop, and Channel Tres, uh, channels a little ’00s Timbaland, a live wire through it all. The disco is tense and palpable in the exact way a frisson is: so tangible for something you can’t actually touch. By now we’ve collectively decided that asking “What’s the point of this song in a pandemic?” is a horrible cliche, but it’s the unavoidable subtext of almost every activity now, and every song; not talking about it doesn’t mean it goes away. The dissonance is especially strong given the physicality — in both the semantic and “Too Close” senses — of the hook: “I feel your impact.” (Robyn’s vocal is somewhat low on her usual impishness, her essential ROBYN!!!, but that actually works for her here; especially on her high notes, she’s more gossamer than life, more virtual than reality.) But people, no matter what life they’re given, almost always find cracks and parched spots in their lives to pour new music in. They’ll find some for this, too. Why not ask one “Camping & Hiking Adventures” on YouTube? “heard this camping the other weekend damn i was looking up at the stars beer in my hand smiles all around, this is a banger love it”

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