Somewhere between his "Shades" b/w "Textures" single for Hemlock and last year's "Wait" b/w "Hands in Mine" effort for Hotflush, Guy Andrews scaled back the percussive focus of his earlier work in exchange for a new infusion of gaseous synth tones and grander musical activity. On his new Annum EP, Andrews continues to take steps in that direction while still managing not to completely bury his penchant for eclectic, heavy-handed rhythms; it's just that now, they exist within the rich lattices of celestial synth work he has also become adept at crafting.
After having his past two releases grace the catalogs of Hemlock and Hotflush, an appearance on the FINA imprint—certainly not a bad label, but by no means a powerhouse—may be seen as an indication that Andrews has lost a bit of his step. Nothing could be further from the truth. Annum may not be as high-profile of a release as we've seen from Andrews before, but its four tracks are certainly of the same respectable quality, both in terms of their sonic makeup and musical reach.
Annum seems intended to be split into two halves, with its opening tracks "Divide" and "7AM" following Andrews down space-age, almost uplifting house workouts. The songs are somewhat reminiscent of artists like Applescal or even—to a lesser degree—Luke Abbott, but with a thicker build and a deeper reach. The record's latter half makes a noticeable venture into darker regions, and in doing so, supplies the highlights. Both "Fixture" and "Tapes" utilize the same sort of lush and melodically rich synth passages displayed on the EPs earlier efforts, but instead of making them the focus of the tunes' respective runs, the collections of chords and melodies are sparser and employed more to create atmosphere or signify a momentary change in pace. Still, both "Fixture" and "Tapes" find smart ways to play around with their elements before ever laying into their full rhythmic charge; Andrews' combinations of thick kicks and snares with cleverly aligned pieces of real-world percussion consistently prove to be worth the wait, and largely drive another noteworthy outing from the Brighton producer.