Throwing Snow Clamor EP
- Words: Joe Moynihan
- Label: Snowfall
- XLR8R Rating: 8/10
In a relatively short space of time, Throwing Snow (a.k.a. Ross Tones) has established quite a name for himself. Apart from defying club-ready structures and crafting rich soundscapes of his own, he's also championed artist creativity and individuality while helping to run the Left Blank and A Future Without labels. His latest release, the Clamor EP, sees the UK producer inaugurating yet another label, Snowfall, an imprint he'll be steering on his own and operating with the same "no creative restraints" ideology that he has consistently (and sincerely) maintained in his career thus far.
From the top, it’s clear that this is some of Throwing Snow’s most ambitious work yet, with unreservedly cinematic kick drums and reverb-drenched rimshots peppering an otherwise serene and glacial introduction on the EP's title track. The omnipresence of the word "snow" in Tones' projects has led commentators to harvest from a similar semantic field when describing his music—but it's just so appropriate; the steady builds and sudden drops on "Clamor" feel avalanche-like in their vastness and weight. Its unpredictability is both rapturous and menacing, making the producer's recent claim in an interview with FACT that he "naturally gravitate[s] towards something slightly dark and moderately epic sounding" feel like a major understatement.
"Perca" is a little more forgiving to dancers, offering more of a consistent groove than the loose structure of the title track. That said, is it not without the same sense of grit. Sharp string samples are cut amongst a thick low-end pulse in what initially sounds like a blend of RZA and Mosca's "Tilt Shift." Granted, that only lasts until the song's halfway point, when the beat escalates into rapid-fire syncopation and an icy synth propels the strings towards a crescendo they purposefully never quite meet. On "Brook," Tones takes more of a low-key approach, gently cutting up and building on an optimistic melody that sits comfortably in the space between hip-hop and house. It's an appropriate selection for Gold Panda to strip back and fill with a smooth, throbbing bassline on his infectious remix.
Clamor is a bold opening statement for Tones' newly christened imprint, but if it's followed by music that displays the same high-caliber production combined with a similar lack of restraint and compromise, then Snowfall just might become a mainstay for music that's simply too thrilling to worry about defining.
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