Straight outta Shanghai, Swimful splashes down with an album sized bounty of beats. With heat picking up on both sides of the hemisphere, his Chinese wave grime fusion couldn't be more refreshing if it shoved you under a waterfall with a mouthful of extra strong mints. As teased with his recent remake of Wiley's classic "Shanghai", the whole set is paradoxically loaded with dense melodic layers (much of which contain traditional phrases, instruments and chords) and black holes of space. The result is a narrative that ebbs and flows from sublime beatless pastoral bliss ("Fisherman's Horizon") to loopy flute-blasting purple funk ("Atop") via sexy cosmic R&B circa 3016 ("Go!"). Lap it up.
PM2.5 by Swimful was a hit when it came out earlier this year, and it lit up our charts like a Christmas tree. The Shanghai-based producer is back but only as the lead producer, and what we have here is a whole album of remixes; remixes of his whole LP by a number of well-known contemporaries. The great thing about the original was its versatility and diversity of music - from wobbly dubstep to mindful, beat-driven bass - and this hasn't been lost in this LP. In fact, the likes of Damacha, Desto, Kai Lauen, Naaah and AIRMAX'97 make this a truly jaw-splitting release, and have transformed an already great bunch of tracks into an artillery of new ones.
The heat of last year's "PM2.5" just settling to a simmer, Swimful strides back from his Shanghai lab with a fresh body of level-raising work. While his previous works felt more like loose jams, there's more emphasis on form as he glides, thrusts and seduces us into his universe. The Orient is strong throughout in both atmospheres and melodic structure (especially on the likes of the pads on "Skitter" and the hook on "Pearls") but it's the dark UK-style bass underbelly anchoring the tracks that really brings it together such as the wavy percussive elements of "Lonely God" and steppy dynamic of "Call Cards". Another fresh dispatch from a truly unique artist in bass right now
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