Glasgow music school subSine show off what their graduates are capable of in the studio
It's a rule with yours truly never to read the mailer that comes with a promo until after I've made up my mind about the record in question… that way it's easier not to get swayed by hype, and just focus on the music. So with this EP, I played it and thought, "Hmm, some forward-thinking stuff here"… only afterwards did I read that the four tracks are all from recent graduates of Glasgow music production school subSine. Which makes sense, of course – you'd hope new blood would bring new ideas, but that's not always the case!
Meraki, a Dublin lad now based in Barcelona, is up first with Vexed, a cut that starts out in that vague deep/prog hinterland but then introduces, by way of a main hook, a hefty, buzzy bassline that suggests a background in, or at least fondness for, classic UK garage. Glasgow's own DJ Oakland then gives us Pier Jam, a late-night deep house groover centred around sparse 909s, lingering piano chords, atmospheric synth washes and barely-there female vocal snips which has a slightly 'future R&B'-ish kinda feel. Drew Miller's Moon Bugs is another quite sparse cut with jazzy overtones, before another Glaswegian, Lifecoach, plays us out with Things You Do For Me, a more soulful affair with organic-sounding bass and some lovely delicate keys.
Most importantly, all four cuts here are sounding distinctly fresh, bringing some new ideas to the table without getting all experimental and wonked-out for the sake of it. If this is the quality of producer the music schools are turning out these days, then all I can say is, more power to their elbow!
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 28 October
Review Score: 8