What else could Julio Bashmore possibly do to add to his incredible run this year? His original output this year has been essentially unrivaled in terms of quality—we recently deemed "Battle for Middle You" the best track of 2011—while his remixes and DJ sets around the globe have been similarly excellent. In the wake of such a blazing run, it seems that the man atop Bristol's bubbling talent pool has decided that the next thing to do is bring the mood down a touch, as evidenced by the pair of cosmic slow-burners on Riff Wrath, his final EP of the year.
"Ensnare" kicks off Riff Wrath with a stripped-back intro that serves as a sort of fake-out, building with a repetitive structure and steady beat that is nearly identical to those of Bashmore's bigger tunes. Eventually, pads, a clap, and some guitar begin to trickle in, but the track does not gain any momentum, instead maintaining the vibe at a simmer, leaving plenty of room for the retro (think Yacht Rock) vocals to take over. This smooth, laid-back feel essentially rides out the rest of the tune, which rolls along for an extended run of almost eight minutes with the longing, soulful male vocal snippets as its lead, all the while leaving Bashmore's trademark tuned kicks to inhabit the cut's lowest registers.
The b-side, "Well Wishers," is an instrumental jam that moves in much the same way as its counterpart, but without the aid of a vocal to lead the way. The track also is about as close as we've ever heard Bashmore come to producing anything that could come adorned with the tag "disco." Sure, it's a shinier—even stonier—kind of disco, but the walking electric piano loops and soaring guitar seem drenched in nostalgia, and the simple, repeating kick-hat-snare pattern follows suit. Again taking its time to get through the arrangement, "Well Wishers" clocks in at just under seven minutes, capping off this welcome, albeit a bit indulgent, venture into the world spaced-out slow rollers.