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17 Aug 11
Review: When Five Easy Pieces emerged as a label earlier this year with a debut release sporting the day glo boogie sounds of London duo Royalty, we were confronted with an unknown quantity that surprised and delighted on all levels. Fast forward several months and the second release on the fledgling imprint might be dipped in a keener sense of familiarity given the names involved, but it proves to be no less impressive. Formed of Matt Waites (who some may recall operating under the Nightmoves and Moscow monikers) and Nocturnes boss JR Seaton, Call Super brings together two producers with a true love of vintage analogue sounds and a willingness to implement it via new formulas. Across the three original tracks here, Waites and Seaton seem to revel in the opportunity to indulge their charmingly oddball side - the opening track "And It Was" for example has hushed vocals and a squelching acid refrain at its core but the track jerks with rhythmic intrigue, never giving clues as to where it will lead you. Off the back of two superb EPs and all the critical praise that followed them, Objekt provides an intriguing proposition as choice of remix artist for "Timora". Largely straightening out the rhythmic kinks, the Berlin-based producer implements a strident electro feel, slowly adding layers of brutal industrial textures which combine with real potency.
30 Jan 12
Review: The always excellent Five Easy Pieces continue to avoid pigeonholing with the release of Midnight Davis' debut release, Aftershocks. Hailing from London, Davis shrouds his lo-fi productions in clouds of dub, creating an effect that is not unlike a combination of Ariel Pink's tessellated psychedelia and Kind Midas Sound's enveloping bass soundscapes. However, it's an EP of other disparate styles - post-punk influences are displayed in the spindly guitar work at the dark heart of "Timely" and "Nothing Is Obvious", whilst "Medicine" meanwhile utilizes cracked industrial sonics over the top of screaming, pitched down trance synths that try to instill a sense of euphoria despite the lurching rhythms. But it's the vocal work that holds it all together, offering a fragile heart in amongst the intricately woven sonic backdrops. It would be easy to compare Midnight Davis to the gothic R&B stylings of How To Dress Well, and his Tri Angle associates, but he's got a sound that is very much his own. Highly recommended.
12 Mar 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Leftfield
Review: The supernatural boogie of the Five Easy Pieces label reveals another facet to its sound signature with this latest release. Pitching My Panda Shall Fly and Benjamin Jackson together, the results of the three original tracks span edgy electronics and refined traditional instrumentation with dexterity. "Mantra" occupies a haunting space where forlorn piano chords duel with mechanical drum pops. "Data-Module" is even more alluring in its low-slung guitar funk and moody synths cruising on top of an easy beat. Full props to the label for picking three excellent remixes: Juno fave Chairman Kato particularly astounds with his ragged 4/4 lurch, while Cloud Boat spaces everything out to dubby extremes and patten turns in a sludgy reimagination that pays little attention to traditional rhythmic strictures and is all the more exciting for it .
16 Jul 12
Review: Three records deep and Royalty are seemingly developing an unpredictable quantity. Following two EPs of refined and confident contemporary electro funk, the lead track on Eroica has the East London duo of Chesca and Yorke attempting and succeeding at crafting a bombastic ballad loaded with an allure that reaches far beyond the trappings of the underground electronic music circuit. There's an Italo thrum to the arpeggiated bassline which only adds to the heated sensuality of the track, but what really comes across is how ready Royalty sound to be writing songs as opposed to tracks. Elliot Yorke indulges himself in his burgeoning downtempo solo project on the remix, keeping the vocal intact and sowing a delicate smattering of his own analogue squiggles underneath while the beat creeps along at a snails pace. Meanwhile "Vector Glide" smacks more of Chesca's love of house music, albeit at a mean low tempo to provide maximum slow grinding potential on the floor. It's a vibe much more in line with the work Royalty have made their name on thus far, and it's encouraging to know that inimitable sound they struck upon won't be ditched any time soon.
28 Nov 11
14 Mar 11