Joining the ranks of Serbia's Svetlana imprint—a label that has so far displayed quite a knack for picking out budding talents—is a relative newcomer from Britiain's Southwest, Microburst. A seaside dweller with a penchant for heavy sonics and fine-tuned textures, his initial offering for the label brings an electro-acoustic slant to the realm of UK bass music.
The most impressive aspect of the Hadal Lagoon EP lies in the superb quality of its audio. Each song hosts a colorful array of detailed sound structures, some appearing from the real world—acoustic guitar, muffled voices, and various pieces of percussion, as well as a host of metallic scrapes and hits—while the rest appears to result from hours of concentrated computer manipulation. The sound palette holds constant across all six of the EP's tracks, favoring textures that are dark without being hazy and crisp without being generic. This combines with Microburst's thick, weighted low end to create productions that have an intensely physical sense to them; it's the aural equivalent of watching a movie in 3-D.
However, Microburst's strengths as a producer are not distributed evenly on Hidal Lagoon, as his songwriting falls a bit short of his sonic prowess. Although nothing jumps out and strikes the listener as offensive, only half of the record really has any sort of substantial staying power. These highlights take a variety of shapes, and early on, "Effects" lands on the first, twisting a bit of slippery UK garage into Microburst's dense world with female vocals and breathy, droning chords dipped beneath an almost overwhelming—but deftly executed—array of clattering claps and snares. Fortunately, the EP ends on its two strongest cuts, "Conformachord" and "Flare." While the former takes a slightly beat-scene-inspired route to its end—think Lapalux meets Teebs meets 2-step (if you can)—the latter introduces a more melodic approach to Microburst's production, its angelic guitar chops and contemplative tone serving as a fine closer for this EP from a developing talent.