Moscow – ‘Hyaline’ EP (Donky Pitch)

Brighton-based promoters-turned-label Donky Pitch have long vaunted the creative bass music of their hometown. The imprint counts the likes of manic synth-head Slugabed among its past collaborators, and has recently embarked on a three part EP series showcasing some local up-and-coming beatmaker talent that has seen strong contributions from Boss Kite and Ghost Mutt so far.

Next up is new addition Moscow, the alias of 21-year old producer Theo Celano, whose ‘Hyaline’ debut completes the beat trifecta.

The first thing to note about Celano is the misleading nature of his chosen moniker. Moscow conjures images of snow-covered streets, Ushankas, and communal vodka being passed round to stave off the harsh Siberian wind (no stereotypes were harmed during the writing of this sentence). On the contrary, Celano’s Moscow is a warm and hospitable place.

Opener ‘Belltones’ demonstrates this from the off, mixing light, airy keys with thick synth tones and plastering the whole thing over an attractive ½ time beat. ‘ Crystaal’ is its natural bedfellow, with its scattered bursts of melody and those warm synth tones again: the pair make for a perfect comedown soundtrack.

‘Mind Shine’ drops a snatch of pitched-down Drake vocal over a downtempo yet hyped up hip-hop instrumental, rattling 808s injecting a bit of swagger into proceedings, while ‘Oh Great’’s jittering pieces of rhythm are held in place by a metronomic snare, with world music samples creeping out the crates to join the woolly synth blasts.

Despite Celano’s obvious way with a beat and keen sense of arrangement, the tracks on ‘Hyaline’ almost seem like short sketches; fragments of ideas forged into song length. This isn’t necessarily a negative point however, as it allows constant introduction of fresh ideas over the loops, and the EP’s 15-minutes are crammed full of snippets of melody and interesting rhythmical ideas, bookended by ‘Belltone’’s relaxed feel and the similar atmospheres of ‘Waves’ – sparkling with harp-like instrumentation and otherworldliness.

Boss Kite brought a playful electro-funk with ‘Comicon’, while Ghost Mutt’s ‘Sweat Mode’ brought the club-ready synthplay, but it’s Moscow’s precise craft that so perfectly set off this trio of Brighton EPs from Donky Pitch.

Tom Quickfall

‘Hyaline’ is released via Donky Pitch on March 8.

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