[Cam Trichart performs alongside Almost Alive at The Daisy Jones Bar. PHOTO: Supplied/Golden Blue]

Golden Blue is the solo project of Cam Trichart, a Cape Town-based musician, producer, and sound engineer. He combines a range of guitar styles with sparkly synths and electronic production to make a soundscape that is impressively cohesive. 

22-year-old Cam grew up in Durban but has been living in Cape Town for the past several years, and studied sound engineering at the SAE Institute in Woodstock. Cam mastered the latest single from Cape Town rock group Almost Alive, ‘Cigarette Sex’, and has performed alongside them as well as fellow local artist, Where Are The Crystals.

Golden Blue has released three singles so far, and all of them display a lovingly-crafted sound that brings together a mix of physical and electronic instruments. Cam’s deep vocals usually provide the low-end rumble to an enchanting mix where it can be hard to tell when recorded sounds end and synthesising begins.

Sanctuary

The opening moments of ‘Sanctuary’ are immediately catchy, with a bouncy guitar line over a softer, plucking layer busy keeping time. The ghostly synth notes that then fade in make it clear that you’re in for far more than another Tash Sultana impression.

The vocals are a bit too conspicuous at first in this track until they are joined by some meandering distortion that balances the mix. The track is powered by hi-hats in a 3/4 rhythm that includes some really creative variations.

Halfway through, everything drops away and lonely keys begin the build-up, accompanied by a well-produced maniacal laugh that fits right in. The drop-away also disguises a switch to 4/4 that gives the back half of the track a comparatively laid-back feel.

‘Sanctuary’ was Golden Blue’s first release back at the end of 2021 and makes for a good introduction to the unique pieces Cam brings to the sound desk.

The Communicator

‘The Communicator’ was released on 16 February this year. This song has more strings in the mix than the other two singles. It also has steady, deep vocals that give the multiple guitar layers a background texture.

We start with bright, intricate guitar lines, but those are soon backed up by more drawn-out, yearning riffs that would feel at home in blues rock. Going into the third minute, we get a stripped-back section full of reverb. It’s complemented by a guitar rhythm that emphasises the 3s and 4s – giving it a real echoing, rolling groove.

This track is also well served by the inclusion of more physical-sounding percussion hits in the latter half. Overall, ‘The Communicator’ serves as an excellent way to ease indie rock listeners into Golden Blue’s more experimental elements. 

The Flame

‘The Flame’ is a slower, almost lethargic track, but the energy matches the lyrics that speak to rediscovering your motivation. It was released on 31 March earlier this year — which was also Cam’s 22nd birthday.

“In smoke, my life’s a haze / Can see my flame slipping away / Beating out of time I’m losing my mind.”

‘The Flame’ matches clean guitar loops with snappy beats and light, roomy synths. Right at the end of the track, we get a second guitar layer rising out of the haze to back up the first and bring the track to a swift and satisfying close.

Golden Blue
[Cam surrounded by the many tools of his trade. PHOTO: Supplied/Golden Blue]

Golden Blue’s sound is the kind that makes you take a second to wonder how you’ve missed it all this time. The combination of electronic production and at times bluesy, at times more indie guitar work isn’t innovative in the sense that it hasn’t been done before. However, what makes it stand out is exactly that it doesn’t feel all-new, out of left field, or absurd.

Rather, it’s the fact that, despite ambitiously mixing rock stylings and varied electronic ingredients at the hands of a relatively young artist, Golden Blue’s tracks feel like they’ve already found their sonic home. The electronic parts give the music a feeling of floating that psychedelic rock usually can’t do as well with pedals. And the groovy strings add a sense of physicality that is often missing from songs that are only made digitally.

Rather than being lighthearted and dreamy, Golden Blue creates something more hypnotic — more falling through the void past humbling celestial bodies than floating through the clouds.

Cam will be releasing his next single, ‘The Oasis’, on 6 January, before dropping his debut album on 3 February, titled The Peaceful Warrior. We impatiently look forward to seeing the uncharted territory Golden Blue’s experimental sounds can take us to with all the time of a full album.

Author

​​I write about the tech sector in hopes we can find human-centred alternatives to the mess we’ve made for ourselves. I get involved in the music scene because leaving passion unpursued is a sin. When my feet aren’t busy on the sokkie floor, you can find me chasing silver linings.

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