Arkist, Rendezvous

Illustration by Eric Heller

[Apple Pips]

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It seems like with every new 12 he puts out (and there have been a lot recently), Bristol producer Adam Arkist just grows incrementally stronger. The differences are small but they’re there, and true to form, the producer’s debut on the always-weird Apple Pips label might be his best work yet. Following on his promising “Trapped in Tivoli” on DECA Rhythm, the two tracks here have that now signature lithe and sanguine bass sound, a familiar warm and cloudy sub-bass sound that defines all this nebulous “post-dubstep” bundled up into tightly coiled rope.

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A-side “Rendezvous” has all the trappings of a bad “future garage” track, the kind of thing you can find in spades on SoundCloud: a gently snapping beat that hints at 2-step, a carefully ascending bass line, soft-focus chords and a soulful, emotive vocal sample. It would be dreadfully by-the-numbers if it wasn’t for Arkist’s incredibly tight execution: it’s all about how the bass line climbs up the track nimbly before dropping back down gracefully, egged on by sensuous pads and chords that smear across the horizon like Vaseline. In full force “Rendezvous” is something to behold, all elements moving in perfect time to create something that sounds completely of one piece even as it’s frantically bouncing around. The flipside, “Fill Your Coffee,” is a little less high-strung, sounding like some laid-back funk interpretation of early James Blake, the jerky motions and odd melodic turns smoothed-out into slow and labored jazz inflections. Like the pseudo-mundane title suggests, it’s down home stuff, Sunday afternoon vibes, especially as the sun begins to set for the track’s arpeggio-heavy second half. It’s true that Arkist continues to pick up bits and pieces from his peers, but the way he fashions them into such an appealingly tactile palette — think bass music as filtered through Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions or something — never ceases to be impressive.

Blaktony  on July 27, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I dig it.

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