Tag Archives: Lush

Exkursions 002 [Lossless]

Lossless Music, Soul Intent’s increasingly diverse and incredibly reliable imprint continue their Exkursions output with the second EP to drop on the sub-label since its inception early last year. Better yet, they’ve tapped Concealed Identity for production duties, and as usual for one of our favourite producers he doesn’t disappoint.

First up comes a remix of Soul Intent’s No Answers from the previous Exkursions EP. Where the original’s drums had a sharp-edged urgency, Concealed Identity has spun intricate percussion into subtle reverb, dulling the edges for a more euphoric, tripped out sensibility that perfectly matches the floaty pads and atmospherics of the original. The proverbial cake gets a layer of icing later in the progression via a tasty reese bassline swelling out of the mix in warm, jubilant waves. Lush!

Concealed Identity original Zahir delivers more along similar lines; the use of space and reverb that have characterised most of his recent output (see his absolutely sublime 12″ for Narratives if you missed it last year…) is present again here in abundance, and his compositions are rich and detailed. Think Conduct but with an edge of Photek and you’re in the ballpark.

As if two slices of cinematic D&B deepness weren’t enough, Soul Intent brings us a slice of 140BPM heat to close the EP via his Odyssia alias. Hints of the stripped-back tone of early dubstep and a steppy garage-ish beat characterise a tune that straddles the dancefloor and more cerebral space with aplomb. Another tasty selection from a label we can’t get enough of! Check out the clips and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to grab this on vinyl or digital right now.

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Blind Mice – Harbour EP [Cut]

Cut may not be a label you’re familiar with, but it’s certainly one you should check out if you’re keen on the deeper side of electronic music across the genre spectrum. Starting as a free net label but recently changing to a subscription based model, the imprint puts out a wide range of music with an emphasis on emotionality and feeling rather than specific styles or tempos.

Their latest release comes from Blind Mice, a production outfit that I can literally find no further information on at all. Whether deliberately enigmatic or just badly publicised, one thing is sure – he/she/they have a talent for deep, moving compositions and innovative use of sound.

While it’s almost impossible to discuss this area of D&B without name-checking dBridge’s highly influential Autonomic imprint, the music here actually feels like it has little in common with that experiment beyond the halftime-ish tempo and a “deeper” sound. Where Autonomic was still to some degree club focussed, providing a fusion between Drum & Bass, Dubstep and other influences, the work on this EP feels more inspired by downtempo and film scores (and not in that “we love Vangelis” fashion so many producers are fond of either).

Despite the unified feel of the five tracks here, they move through a fairly wide set of tones. Meitene blends floating, futuristic synth washes with soft vocals for a faintly shoegaze-y opening, while Slipped Disk heads for more dubby territory with skittering percussion and reverb drenched vocal echoes. Harbour keeps the dubby vibe, with warm bass and a fairly minimal aesthetic, but Winter Solo brightens things up again, with more insistent beats and bass layered behind shimmering lead melodies. Last up Got A Feelin’ proves to be the most frantic composition, with rapid fire hats and footwork-style repetitive vocal slicing.

Overall the EP provides more proof (as if we needed it) of the near boundless array of musical possibilities within the 170BPM template. I’ll certainly be reaching for it over morning coffee again in the future. You can check out previews of the EP below; head on over to the Cut website to subscribe for the incredibly reasonable price of $2 a month, or if you’d prefer to buy the release on its own you can grab it from their Bandcamp.

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