Dutch Producer Kai Hugo is living the game. *And by the game, I mean a metaphor for life…but also literally a game. In 2014, soon after contributing music to Grand Theft Auto V, Hugo was contacted by Sony to soundtrack their Metrico puzzle game. He’s since relocated from Berlin to sunny Los Angeles.
Hugo’s musical project Palmbomen is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Palmbomen is Dutch for palm trees, which is notably something one doesnt’ quite see much of in The Netherlands. But one listen to Palmbomen and you clearly feel what Hugo longs for.
Like Ford & Lopatin’s fated Games project years ago, Palmbomen sounds nostalgic for an era just before the artists’ time. Lush layers of moody analog synths filtered through VHS tape hiss, Hugo’s work is cinematic in a very particular way.
Palmbomen is like music for a 1991 straight to VHS video movie starring Hasselhoff based on a Nintendo game where you race a Ferrari to the Kung Fu fight. It’s actually quite freaking awesome. Hugo’s newest work, Palmbomen II is a crinkly tape, mesh workout glove fever dream. Recorded last summer between binge-watching entire seasons of the X-Files, the album is unquestionably weird and undeniably charming.
Palmbomen, like the palmbomen of LA, is from somewhere far away and like lots of the players in LA, is just a really far out dude, driving through the city at night, playing the game. Well.
*Palmbomen II is out now on Beats in Space Records