Youandewan, for a relatively long time now, has been a prominent name in the UK and global dance scene(s) which – to some extent – could be seen as surprising, considering his somewhat thin discography (his last EP coming out over a year ago). However, he is an advocate for quality over quantity and his ‘Disarray EP’, out February 18th (supposedly) on Hypercolour sibling HypeLTD, demonstrates this thoroughly.
Leeds bred Ewan has stated previously that he is ‘shy, nervous and anxious about life’, a statement that decidedly echoes through a lot of the EP. To be honest, the simplicity and transparency with which Ewan has constructed the 4 track piece doesn’t allow for much ‘in-depth’ analysis of possible exterior influences, countless layers or the like, but does allow for comment that this is a producer who knows what he is doing and does it well.
Opening with ethereal title track, ‘Disarray’, Youandewan sets some very bendy foundations for what is to be a release based around subtly and precision. Soulful, slightly progressive and dreamy are adjectives that spring to mind. A nicely intensifying bassline is coupled with a soft, panning vocal, accompanied by a sophisticated drum pattern, making this a very abstracted affair. A great proponent for musical expression that doesn’t require constant layering or the over dubbing of ‘effect’.
Moving on, we slip into ‘Awn’, which, in essence, picks up where ‘Disarray’ left off. A similar vibe but more up beat – centering around a pulsating, intensifying synth – still simple, still relaxed and still utilising a soulful vocal with lyrics that work in time with the general pace of the tune. Crisp percussion yet again solidifies Ewan’s skill with a drum machine. My personal favourite on the EP.
‘Undrstnd’ lacks vowels. However, it doesn’t lack the lucid pads that continue to keep the EP moving along a similar vein. Youandewan appears to be using the same components in each track with a slightly different output from each. I’d put this down as the most basic of the four, amalgamating that same airy vocal with a thumping bass/open-hat-swipe combo.
Finally, and definitely one for the mix bag, comes ‘0500’ (possibly the time at which he finished it?). Again, Ewan exercises his ear for drums. I love the way this tune is put together, very simple but very effective (there’s a theme appearing here…). The track sinks into a mellow lull a third of the way through, emerging soon after with more depth and fluidity. A tune in motion, ‘0500’ moves in waves, constrained waves, but waves all the same.
If the moment strikes and you’re listening to ‘Disarray’ whilst say, playing video games or writing poetry, subconsciously you may struggle to distinguish between tracks. As previously mentioned the mood of all 4 follow suit with each other but don’t become boring, despite the lucidity and transparent nature of it all. A really nice EP, further cementing Youandewan as a producer who works to his own boundaries and tastes very effectively. Bon!