- You might not be able to tell immediately, but Halifax's Ryan Hemsworth is quite a fan of mainstream rap. Like spiritual brethren Supreme Cuts, the influence comes out in grandiose lullabies pushed and prodded by hip-hop percussion. He flattens the outlandish flamboyance of hip-hop producers like Lex Luger and Polow Da Don into something more bedroom than inner-city streets. On the Broken Social Scene-esque drift of "Colour & Movement," scenic indie rock flavours are driven by flurries of snares that splatter like buckshot.
Hemsworth's productions are nominally hip-hop instrumentals, but on Last Words, his debut for Shlohmo's Wedidit empire, they're also full-fledged songs. Opener "Charly Wingate" takes a detour from its nervous pulse to dive headfirst into a cushiony synth breakdown, while the theatrical "Slurring" halts its theatrical march to saturate itself with overdriven synths, moving from dreamily psychedelic to desperately imperative. These complex tracks tend take twists and turns you wouldn't expect, both structurally and texturally, and he often juxtaposes the cottony beds of sound with gruff rap samples. On "The Happy Mask Shop," an assortment of bells are squared off against jumpy trap percussion and choral vocals, like a harder Clams Casino, and halfway through "Overthinking" the chord progression switches up to a heartwarming resolution in a breathtaking coda.
The EP also comes with a slew of remixes: Shlohmo screws the already narcoleptic "Colour & Movement" so the whole thing is shaky and gaseous, while Baauer turns "Slurring" into a pins-and-needles throbber in the mode of "Harlem Shake," while Club Cheval associates Sam Tiba & Can Blaster mash-up two of the EPs tracks for a dubstep-compatible monster. But it's Supreme Cuts who steal the show, proving their sympathy with Hemsworth's music with a remix of "Overthinking" that equals any of the originals and one-ups his flair for Hollywood-calibre melody. Their rework snakes between quieter sections defined by haughtily plucked strings before exploding into slow-motion fireworks in a burst of colour that outshines even their stellar debut LP from earlier this year.
01. Charly Wingate
02. Colour & Movement
03. The Happy Mask Shop
06. Colour & Movement (Shlohmo Remix)
07. Overthinking (Supreme Cuts Remix)
08. Slurring (Baauer Remix)
09. Charly's Mask Shop (Sam Tiba & Canblaster Remix)