This release drifted into my inbox on a cold, wet night in Peckham and provided the ideal antithesis to the less than ideal geography of my situation. Glaswegian beatsmith Soosh seems to have manipulated everything wonderful about a warm, hazy summer’s day (do they still exist?), and massaged it into his debut album Colour is Breathe.
It will come as no surprise that Soosh looked away from the grey skies of Glasgow for inspiration, spending 5 months in Italy creating the album. Whilst the continental influence is evident, the sound it has created is less easy to map. Elements of shoegaze collide with hip-hop and electronica, creating an aesthetic that nods dreamily towards Flying Lotus, whilst tripping out with Two Inch Punch and blowing kisses at Boards of Canada. It’s a sound that feels right at home in the stables of Error Broadcast, a label that also houses West coast beat alchemist Shlohmo.
Picking highlights is by far the hardest part about listening to Colour is Breathe. It is testament to its cohesion that few of the tracks stand out, each drifting breathlessly into the next. The Space Between is an early ‘moment’; its wispy synth flourishes and effortlessly minimal percussion result in the kind of noise you want to hear on repeat when you finally make it to heaven. The ethereal vocals of both Soosh and his sister Carmel Khavari lend the wonked-out swoon of The Way You an XX-like quality, with Carmel weaving a dizzying juxtaposition of melancholy and bliss on the album’s title track.
Just Breathe does exactly that, and it is the modest nature of Soosh’s beat programming that is so integral to the purpose of the album as a whole. A symbiosis of space and texture exists throughout, allowing woozy pads to work their magic amongst the Khavari siblings’ vocal strokes.
You can’t help feeling that this album should have been released in the summer, given the warmth it evokes, but with it Soosh has succeeded in forging an instantly familiar and timeless identity and one that will sound comforting 12 months of the year, for a long, long time.
Soosh’s Colour Is Breathe LP is out via Error Broadcast on 25th February.