Third World Summer is the electronic project of Seattle-based artist, Allan Lumba. Created during a year spent living in Manila, Third World Summer emerged out of Lumba’s renewed interest in electronic dance music, particularly in the use of repetition in records such as Caribou’s Swim and Four Tet’s There Is Love in You. The resulting project, like the very name Third World Summer, evokes contradictions, combining an oceanic and melancholic sense of distance with uptempo beats that recall the frenetic pace of city life.
Themes such as displacement and nostalgia serve as a bridge between Third World Summer and Lumba’s other persona, the retro-pop inspired Multo, a project he describes as being about writing “concise, stripped-down pop songs.” Under the new moniker, Lumba is able to experiment with less bookended forms of songwriting and explore the more textural aspects of electronic music. As Lumba puts it, quoting a friend paraphrasing Duke Ellington, Third World Summer is about “making songs that end like a new song is about to begin.”
Though Third World Summer is designed as a more open-ended project, it also retains Lumba’s unmistakable pop sensibility. This becomes apparent in his first Third World Summer release, “Displaced Voices,” a track that manages to be both infectious and atmospheric and which demands repeat listening.