U I EP
Mysterious UK producer U has followed up last year's enigmatic 10" debut for George Fitzgerald's ManMakeMusic label, the Eah EP, with a second, equally compelling release. Eah's ghostly, nostalgia-soaked evocations resulted in tracks that seemed to comprise fragments and gestures towards the memory of house and rave, and I seems equally unconcerned with the dancefloor. One exception to this is the title track, as its burrowing 4/4, blown-out disco loops, and diva vocals recall the off-kilter house of Gerry Read. Yet even the track's seemingly straightforward structure belies its strangely warped production, which has the effect of making the tune seem like it's fraying at the edges.
The remainder of the EP takes things even further from familiar territory—discernable house beats are entirely absent from the final two tracks. "Let the Sunshine In" layers a haunting vocal over brittle acoustic guitars and tumbling, far-off drums, resulting in something akin to Forest Swords' dense pastoralism. "+1," on the other hand, is a short, plaintive piano track. While there's no shortage of producers offering scuffed-around-the-edges reinterpretations of classic house, with I's last two tracks, U suggests that he's less interested in lamenting the passing of an era than he is in playfully experimenting with its tropes. The results on I may be slightly inconsistent or unsatisfactorily piecemeal, but they are certainly worth paying attention to.
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