Sepalcure, Fleur EP

[Hotflush Recordings]

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In the world of synchronized swimming, competitors are scored on a scale of 100: 50% for artistic impression, 50% for technical merit. The best synchronized swimmers therefore need to embellish their technical precision with deft creativity. While Sepalcure’s debut EP, last year’s Love Pressure, was a solid and promising first effort, a part of it felt like Sepalcure were loitering hesitantly by the pool, reluctant to plunge themselves in to a truly dazzling routine just yet. The follow-up, Fleur EP, however, sees Praveen Sharma and Travis Stewart exhibiting such fluent artistic and technical excellence that if it weren’t for LWE’s “no scores” policy, I’d be holding up some very high numbers right now.

It’s a rare treat when an EP leaves me scratching my head over just which of the four tracks I’ll be lauding the most come the year’s end, and an even rarer treat that, in mid-January, I can already sense that at least one will endure as a top song of the year. The opening title track feels like the first instant in Avatar when the wash of impossibly warm and vibrant colors are revealed, with gently guitar swirls brushing over disarming xylophone-infused beats before seeping in to the flawlessly tweaked vocal sample. Nestling next to it is “Your Love,” unobtrusively upping the tempo to the kind of kicks and snares that are a familiar fixture on Hotflush releases, while the track carries an emotive sample of soulful ’90s house to form another irresistible shot of warmth. The ever-fluid title of “highlight of the EP” then shuffles on to “No Think,” which imposes slightly darker and brooding semblances on to the record, full of grime-esque snare kicks and throbbing builds, and interspersed with whispering snatches that permeate the track like vague, half-formed flashbacks. “Inside” is a well measured finale; clocking in at just over two minutes, it acts as a relief valve to the the rest of the EP, gently bringing proceedings to a satisfying close rather than adding any more fuel itself. If Sepalcure keep on making the same spectacular leaps in quality on their releases as they have on Fleur, it may become difficult to decide what rating system would apply.

harrison  on February 2, 2011 at 8:15 PM

this is a fantastic 12″. all four tracks are brilliant in different ways but i love the title track ‘fleur’ the most


R-Tyme Use Me (MK Dub)  on February 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM

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