Youandewan Times EP
Judging from his slow-but-steady career, Youandewan could easily be characterized as a producer who is in no particular rush. Though the frequency of his releases has certainly increased this year, this follows a long period of silence from the Leeds-based DJ/producer, which seems like a sign that the man is willing to take his time. But perhaps an even better indication of Youandewan's patience is the gradual pace with which his productions themselves come together, a trait readily displayed throughout the four elongated offerings heard on the producer's new EP for the Secretsundaze label.
Despite a short tracklist, the Times EP still manages to run for more than 30 minutes; the two a-side cuts take up over half of that time themselves. While many producers may use similar amounts of time to craft rather involved musical movements or to amass as many interlocked layers as they please, Youandewan seems to just enjoy the space he gives himself to highlight each of the tunes' components. A spotlight is put on typically overlooked details—like the particular crunch of a clap, the slight swing of a hi-hat, or the decaying trail of a vocal delay—simply because they're the most active elements and are executed to such precise ends. That said, the productions on Times are nonetheless captivating, and are more than capable of luring listeners onto the dancefloor.
As we pointed out in our review of his recent Dissaray EP, Youandewan tends to coyly beckon listeners to the floor with "subtle shifts and pristine craftsmanship," rather than rely on larger-than-life sonics. The four tracks on Times keep with the same ideology; each one does little more than simmer over the carefully assembled drum patterns, bluesy chords, and rounded basslines with a reserved enthusiasm and an almost cautious approach to evolution. As such, it's hard to distinguish a standout from the EP—though the second a-side cut, "Be Dark," does offer the record's most memorable melodic sequence. On the whole, Times inhabits virtually the same sonic space, incorporating a singular sound palette into a handful of slightly divergent arrangements. This slow-changing take on deep, R&B-flecked house may not make for the most outrightly "exciting" music, per se, but in an era that surely has more than its fair share of "exciting" music (often made merely for excitement's sake), Youandewan's sound can be particularly refreshing.
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