Vessel, Standard EP


Photo by Christopher Wilson

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Over the course of his last couple of releases — starting with Wax Dance at the end of last year — Vessel has taken a dive toward darkly broken territory, a tendency confirmed by his recent signing to vetted imprint Tri Angle. Standard, his second EP for London’s left_blank imprint, furthers this. Its three tracks hint at artists like Actress and Newworldaquarium in their blend of boogie-ish bass lines and feverish synthesizers, but are distinguished by just how rickety they sound. Anyone familiar with the aforementioned artists’ proclivity for imperfection — Legowelt once described Actress’ “Paint, Straw And Bubbles” as sounding like it was “put together with tape and sciccors [sic] with some glue and painted over with crayons” — will recognize this as quite an achievement.

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Like those producers, Vessel specializes in grooves — on the lurching title track, he wastes no time in introducing a sludgy bass line and shuffling hi-hat patterns, laying a ghostly, siren-esque synth on top. He throws a fair bit of detritus at the beat, but the mood — an odd mix of down-low funk and icy paranoia — remains constant. On “Merge,” he plays with what could be termed as an “old-standard” melodic motif, the sort of melancholic chords that appear on Detroit-indebted dance releases every week. However, it’s hooked into a slippery rhythm that’s defined by its willingness to slide off the grid — tunnel-vision techno gone lopsided. Finally, “Zero” is the most abstract of the bunch; its beat is a clotted squirm, and as it progresses a diminutive melody tries to poke through squashed clouds of hiss. The track ends before it’s able to, but like the prior pieces, its frayed, disquieting atmosphere lingers.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds April Charts 2012 | Little White Earbuds  on May 4, 2012 at 10:09 AM

[...] Glo” [Ghostly International] 04. Elgato, “Luv Zombie” [Hessle Audio] 05. Vessel, “Merge” [left_blank] 06. The Grid, “Floatation” (Subsonic Grid Mix) [EastWest] 07. Kuedo, [...]

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