Sam Smith is on a roll at the moment. As Ploy he’s released on Hessle Audio, Timedance and Hemlock, three labels that have been defining the sound of contemporary UK club music. His most recent offering on Timedance shows he’s got no plans of slowing down.
After releasing a couple EPs under the moniker Samuel on labels such as Mosca’s Not So Much and Brstl, Smith made a splash with ‘Iron Lungs,’ his debut as Ploy on Timedance. The title track hints at the weighty drums and nervous chimes that he would hone on with his later releases. Last year the label released ‘Intrigued by the Drum,’ a four-track EP that cemented Ploy’s signature sound; a cerebral blend of drum programming powered by Bristolian bass.
With ‘Ramos,’ Smith takes his sound in a different direction; whilst retaining his signature intricate instrumentation, he switches up his moody atmospheres for a more playful approach, concocted with dancefloors in mind.
The title track flows with an upbeat rhythm inspired by UK funky. It builds with a rolling snare and interspersed sighs and bird chirps, and when it drops, is killer. With an intensity similar to ‘Garys‘ from his Hemlock EP, mixed with a fresh lively atmosphere, you’ll be hearing ‘Ramos’ at clubs and festivals all through the summer.
‘Roy’s Rolls’ retains Ploy’s trademark tribal percussion, with a relentless snare roll that stretches from start to finish in frightening fashion. Punctuated by layered dub-like textures, the track illustrates his attuned ear for detail, yet seems almost anti-climatic, like a sketch of a Ploy song rather than a finished piece.
Whilst perhaps not his most inventive record to date, ‘Ramos’ demonstrates Ploy’s ability to skilfully craft an infectious peak-time track and is no doubt a strong addition to his discography.
Ramos is out now on Timedance.
Get it here.
Words: Jess Cohen