Alongside Joker and Gemmy, Guido is one of the three best-known purveyors of the "purple" sound of Bristol. He's arguably the most consistent producer of that crew, exhibiting excellent quality control over a handful of singles and 2010's quietly brilliant Anidea LP. This 12-inch—the second 2012 release from Guido on his new personal label, State of Joy—is largely in keeping with his established brand of woozy, R&B-flavored dubstep. There is, however, a more brooding, ruminative wrinkle to his usually joyous sound this time out. Toning down the lush, delightfully cheap-sounding instrumental components of much of his previous work, Guido opts here for a pared-down, punchy style that goes down quite nicely.
"Flow" is a catchy, memorable R&B banger, and the obvious single cut here. The track hints at bouncy old-school grime, and features a boastful rap vocal from Jay Wilcox, who many will remember for his appearance on Joker's "Electric Sea" last year. Wilcox's mannered voice is a much better fit on this tune, riding hard on the verses and stepping back a bit to let the string samples shine when he reaches the chorus. The instrumental version of "Flow" included here feels less manic and more dramatic sans vocals, but it's not as enticing of a take given how much Wilcox's flow adds to the regular version. On the reverse side is "Africa," an instrumental that begins with heavy bass and hand drums before glassy synths, caustic keyboards, and cooing vocals complicate the picture. It's a terrific mood piece, and more spacious and contemplative than the comparatively commercial a-side—this one is more along the lines of Anidea's slower moments.
Although by no means a radical departure, this is a subtle, compelling new complication in "purple," and a worthy follow-up to the "Micro X" b/w "Vessel Dogs" 12-inch from earlier this year. It's unclear whether another album is in the works, but if Guido keeps releasing singles of this caliber, no one will be complaining.