New York’s Anthony Naples debuted last year with Mad Disrespect, a record praised by everyone from Four Tet to this site. Naples now faces the pressure of the follow-up, both in matching that record’s appeal and avoiding typecasting himself. This untitled, self-released white label is an unassuming means of response. Nothing here is as exuberant as “Mad Disrespect,” but its three tracks are clearly the work of the same producer.
This mostly comes down to how his fingers are all over every gesture. Until recently, Naples used a painstaking computer editing process to hone his tracks. While the record contains more of a mechanical chug than its predecessor, the tracks here still relentlessly fidget and stutter, as though the producer is trying to coax every ounce of potential out of them. In spite of this, the results tend toward the linear — the looping, Soundstream-esque phrases Naples uses throughout the record never culminate in Soundstream-esque climaxes, though they have a stern, punchy hustle that ought to appeal to followers of the Analogue Cops and their extended family. At the ends of “Faceless” and “I Don’t See Them,” Naples interestingly drops samples of either pseudo-locked grooves or unfinished tracks. The former dips into a dusky, low-slung hip-hop house crossover, while the gauzy latter switches to a corroded, warehouse techno pummel. Their presence here is surprising but not unwelcome, and suggest that Naples may have a beat-tape-style album in him. As a whole, the record doesn’t necessarily buck expectation, but it drops plenty of hints about the producer’s bright future.