Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pariah // Safehouses EP // (r&s)

Pariahs 6-track EP is certainly grand in terms of length, but unfortunately he has not been able to craft something as spectacular as his previous R&S release Detroit Falls. Or at least the first couple of tracks are less than inspiring, taking a derivative approach in a scene (if you can call it that) which is devoted to creating new sounds and new beats.

Fortunately, perhaps with the pressure to produce a hit reduced, the EP picks up with Railroad. Upfront there is the funky beat, but the track has a melancholic core that is just hinted at; the flashes of sub bass, and the Burial like cries. Yes, this too isn't particularly forward thinking, but the production is crisp and full of subtleties: think more of a consolidation of Burial, Joy Orbison, Scuba and many other electonic artists, the crushed up drum'n'bass fill is an obvious theft from Ramadanman. The music is extremely dense and interesting to pick apart and the last four tracks are by no means boring, there are little flecks of synth and vocals that are constantly shifting and transforming. But is a little pedestrian, and you will have heard it all before, just perhaps not all on the same vinyl.

The eponymous and final last track is a fuzzed out, blissful soundscape, lacking beats. It functions as an unique turn for what is a reasonably good EP, and hints at future expositions into other sonic territories. There is a huge undercurrent of melancholia to all of Safehouses, and it is no surprise that 'melancholia' is another term for nostalgia: this is knowingly indebted to his precursors, the distant piano chords and sound of a playground on C-Beams shows that Arthur Cayzer is deliberately basking in the fun of theses past tunes. It is just too bad he did not attempt to break new ground, because he has the potential to be massive.


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