Tom E. Vercetti – ‘Future Perfect’ (Coyote Records)

I wonder how long your dreams last for in cryogenic sleep?

‘Future Perfect’ is newcomer Tom E. Vercetti’s first official solo release, but if you’ve been paying attention you might already have heard synth trap stunner ‘A Matter Of Perspective’, or one of his excellent mixes, or his take on Last Japan’s ‘Harca’. He also makes up one third of Silk Road Assassins, who contributed ‘Shaded’ to this year’s Planet Mu 20 compilation.

Coyote Records have had a great year, with new music from Spokes and Letta, and ‘Future Perfect’ does nothing to buck the trend. Vercetti uses many of the textures of Grime, but adds new ones of his own. He also stretches things out, so that individual components are smooth and elongated rather than jerky and staccato. In a sense it feels closer to Hip-Hop production than grime.

Vercetti has a really good ear for melody. It’s probably his main strength as a producer. Listen to the subtle progressions of ‘Fugitive’, its disparate motifs balanced perfectly against each other – his sound design is on point as well. The title track is particularly impressive, rolling along with tinkling chimes, deep organ bass and pitched down vocals. There’s a sense of suspended animation, Sandra Bullock’s astronaut floating through deep space having lost her tether. The tracks here feel longer than they actually are – and for once that’s not a criticism, it’s just easy to get lost in them.

‘Infinite Plane’ is the furthest away from the club that Vercetti gets, and best encapsulates the late night vibe present across the EP. It’s difficult to imagine him working on these mournful Blade Runner synths at any time other than 4 in the morning. The EP’s one remix comes from Chemist, another of the Silk Road Assassins (Lovedr0id is the third). It’s not a drastic refit, just bringing ‘Infinite Plane’ back down to earth a bit – a track for night driving rather than space floating. It hits harder and darker than Vercetti’s original, but still finds time to stretch out.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the wonderful geometric artwork, courtesy of Elliot Holbrow who does all the design for Coyote. Here the cover resembles a fragmented motherboard, or perhaps the blueprint for the Crystal Maze. His subtle approach to line and colour reflects the crisp contours of Vercetti’s celestial explorations.

‘Future Perfect’ is a great debut that uses Grime as a broad framework for some slick constructions. It’s so fully realised, it’s easy to forget that this is a debut release. This is Grime rendered in hi-def neon, Grime locked in the cryogenic freezer, Grime navigating the dark web. Highly recommended.

Words: Cosmo Godfree

‘Future Perfect’ is out now on Coyote Records. Digital available here, vinyl shipping in the new year.

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