Generally when I think of music that describes itself as chill or ambient or chillwave, I always expect that I need to have some form of pharmacological assistance to get me into the headspace that I should be in to fully appreciate the art put out by the artist. That's not to be said for Kentucky performance artist, Classy Mongrel. His music has teeth. It's got flavor. It's not simply beats and loops over and over at 89 bpm to lull you to sleep. It's a fully realized musical endeavor with a beginning, a middle and an end. If I were to compare him to anyone it would be artists like Grimes and Penguin Prison or City Rain. He's been to the same places that Hercules and the Love Affair have been and he's not simply some guy sitting in his room learning a craft. His music is fluid and it's full and gives you something to work with.
All that being said, it's not something that you can't groove to. You can absolutely start at square one and let him take you to where you need to go. Just close your eyes and the beats and synths will easily wrap you up in the deliciousness his music provides. When you come across a track with vocals, they aren't used as a stand apart feature that you are supposed to give all your attention; they are another instrument in the lineup. The vocals enhance the overall track and don't take away from your enjoyment. You don't have to stop grooving to hear what's being said, you simply integrate it into your experience. Another artist he brings to mind is British Dream Pop group, Fuse. I love the Dream Pop genre as much as I dig Shoegaze and I would more faithfully put Classy Mongrel in that category quicker than I would just call him an ambient artist.
Something he does in a lot of tracks is there maybe a four or an eight count where things are just a bit off. Just a bit broken. To my ears, that's almost an homage to life itself. Things aren't always perfect and you hit a rough patch and then you process it and move on. It's a testament to the resilience of human nature at it's core. It's not being bogged down by the small stuff. It's the glitch in the Matrix. It's the deja vu. It's acknowledging that things can get back on track if you let them. He's able to incorporate these little moments of unrest into his tracks and they don't take away from the overall product. In some instances, they may be a little unnerving but that's part of learning and growing as a human.
The production on the tracks is solid. There's a ton of depth and range to his music. His synths are tight and are all pulled together into a cohesive product. I don't hear any "store bought" samples or loops (or if I do, he's done a good enough job at disguising them that they don't come across that way). It's well thought out and as professional as any other artist making this music today.
Classy Mongrel on the Web