Left_Blank’s latest output comes in the form of Sam Kidel and his El Kid project. The London imprint’s third release continues in similar vein to their previous records from Vessel and Visionist. It seems a natural conclusion when you consider the close association Kidel and Vessel have, collaborating together as well as forming part of the Young Echo Collective alongside fellow Bristol producers Kahn, Zhou and Jabu. To those familiar with any of the previous mentions Hypnosis’ contents shouldn’t come as a surprise. It follows the murky path that blends elements of slow moving house as well as dubstep and techno aspects.
Title track ‘Hypnosis’ opens with wistful, longing keys and delayed percussive sweeps, exuberating a combination of the previously mentioned elements to create a composite mourner. An aspect of Hypnosis that becomes prevalent as it wears on is the way in which El Kid snakes and winds through his tracks. Components coil together and entwine around each other rather than building towards any sort of concrete crescendo or tipping point. It’s a technique that’s had the most success in the hands of Zomby, although El Kid does an admirable job here too. ‘Mud’ takes on a slower house grove, space-station effects and worn down, delicate chords providing the backbone. Whispers of BNJMN are not out of place here, and it often feels like your wading through the downbeat house tone.
The EP feels like it’s been washed in gray-scale tones, the menacing ‘Kachinja’ providing more edge than it’s predecessors, ethereal, droning synths and warm percussion showcasing Kidel’s talent. Recent Hyperdub debutant Walton steps up to the remix plate. His take on the title track is ruder and tinged with 808s, and adds some welcome weight and rawness to the EP. It’s one of the more understated and composed releases of recent months, and there’s a lot to be excited here about from both El Kid and Left_Blank, who continue to build upon their promising initial output.
The ‘Hypnosis’ EP is out now on Left_Blank.