Formerly providing a launching pad for the careers of Hyponik favourites Hodge and Artifact, Deadplate Records return for their first outing of 2013 with another promising newcomer; Will Ward. Having achieved some renown as one third of electronica ‘group’ ( alongisde two members of the acclaimed Portico Quartet ), Ward’s first full foray into solo production hints at a producer with a distinctive musicality. The stylings of his group serve as a decent reference point when listening ‘Violiner/Concentrated’, although Ward slathers on the drama in ways not really heard from Circle Traps before.
Comparisons to Four Tet, Mount Kimbie and a whole host of ‘post-dubstep’ ( a tag so painfully awkward that my fingers hurt just from typing it ) artists have followed Circle Tapes around since their inception and with his 12″ Ward doesn’t do much to shake off these associations. However with their certainly being worse things than bringing to mind popular artists consistently praised for their originality and invention, Ward’s choice of actions here is a highly understandable one. Indeed whilst the stylistic hallmarks of the aforementioned artists; sheets of atmospheric sounds, yearning garage style vox and stifled percussion, are all here, Ward has the musicality and talent to take this far beyond a cheap fascimile.
A nice tool in the hands of an adventurous DJ, ‘Violiner’ crests and swells to the throb of its monolithic bass. Juxtaposing this sullen bass with a ensemble of decidedly more fey sounds and voices serves to create an a startlingly dramatic effect that belies its relatively simple parts. Credit to must go to Ward, who’s evident knack for dynamics allows him to keep things engaging without the aid of obvious rhythmic tools or clear cut hooks.
‘Concentrated’ meanwhile, is undeniably the most danceable of the pair, although its no less interesting for that. Adopting something close to a 4/4 beat, Ward leaves his mark by shrouding the rhythm in a muffled hiss of noise and glitching synths. A rugged groove with a good amount of personality, ‘Concentrated’ can’t help but recall ‘Pink’ era Four Tet’s techno experiments.
A familiar yet nonetheless satisfying release, Ward hints at an ability that has the potential to intrigue and mesmerize.
‘Violiner/Concentrated’ is out on Deadplate next Monday 28th October.
[ Disclaimer: Deadplate is co-run by Hyponik staff member Josh Thomas ]