- Airhead's early music earned his name: floaty and ethereal, his intricate beats sounded like the work of one-time collaborator James Blake. He's been pretty quiet since those last two releases on Brainmath, and the London producer makes a big splash of a comeback on R&S Records—just like Blake did in 2010—and it marks his biggest, most accessible music yet.
"Wait" sounds like business as usual, at least at the outset. Brutally contorting a very familiar sample—"wait!" it shouts as layered voices pitch-shift and drip off the syllables like melting wax—it's essentially a bootleg-style refix of Yeah Yeah Yeah's indie rock love-anthem "Maps." Dismantling the song piece by piece, a gorgeously re-purposed guitar riff provides some melancholia for the gently rumbling track before it all disintegrates into a cloud of reverb and loose low-end.
The A-side ends with a surprise crescendo that nicely hints at what's waiting on the flipside. "South Congress" begins with single piano keys that sound encased in sunshine, these sonorous blips of harmonic perfection which coalesce into the same kind of jerkily makeshift melody on "Wait." Instead of receding into the ether, this time a tectonic bassline erects itself, wading in and out and carefully building the pressure for one giant climax. Not enough drama? Cellos swirl and big post-rock guitars land on some Explosions In The Sky tip—it's overblown and bombastic, but it sure is majestic. For a producer who made his name on delicate beats, he does the big loud thing well, another aspect of one of bass music's most quietly fascinating producers revealed.
B South Congress