Borai "Moonlight on the Malago"
Bristol's Borai (a.k.a. Boris English) should be a familiar name to October's fans. He's served as Julian Smith's wingman on three separate occasions since 2011, and while it's difficult to assess exactly what each artist contributed, the releases all feature some of the choicest work of Smith's catalog. English now marks his solo debut for Tasteful Nudes, a new label out of Chicago. Perhaps bolstered by that collaborative success, the two pieces on "Moonlight on the Malago" are assured and abundantly melodic slices of deeper house.
The title track quickly makes its skyline ambitions clear, with its sprightly bassline underlining patterns filtered to form a lavishly swirling backdrop. As the pace picks up, English lets loose a sparkling, freewheeling melody, and the track glides out as effortlessly as it eased in. One pictures it finding a comfortable spot between everything from Roman Flügel to Patrice Scott. On the flip, English goes garage, but in a drawn-out, deliberate style. That genre usually connotes rhythms swung so tightly that they elude deciphering, but on "Does It Bother You," the artist's take is relatively relaxed. His patterns have that signature skip, but build with a suspicious vacantness. This curiosity is cleared up when he drops in a breakbeat midway through, filling out the rhythm and suitably complementing the mid-'90s-style organ stabs that dot the track. It's far from a throwback, however, as English's synthwork is absolutely prime once again, lending the piece an ultramodern sheen. As a final touch, snips of dialogue from Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation are sprinkled throughout, one of which lends the track its title. While the producer's sound still seems to be germinating into something identifiable, "Moonlight on the Malago" is overall a very promising beginning.
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