Spatial - The Spatial Sessions EP1 / EP2

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  • Matt Spendlove has been deconstructing house, garage and techno since before it was de rigueur. The past year has seen him hop from one sound to the next, and his latest endeavour is a two-part EP for Still Cold. His most severe work yet, each pairs two (nominally) more danceable tracks with two beatless run-out grooves. Spatial has always pivoted on dubstep-ish rhythms, and though the music here is mostly at a house tempo, it's just as top-heavy as it ever was. "Caragatti" feels as if it's hopping on one foot, landing hard with a twangy thud like it's falling on top of guitar strings. "Unify" is less spartan but no less dizzying. Layering vocal samples on top of a rambunctious bassline that twirls the track's foundation into knots, slamming drums come in to work down all the kinks. Over on EP two, "Cog Diss Dancer" sounds slightly more like what we're used to from Spatial, with its busy kicks poking into every space they can find. But again, abstraction proves the rule, as a slippery synth melody slides in and out place, bleating improvised runs like an artificial trumpeter. The defiant lumbering of "Project Chatter" is almost jarring in comparison, Spendlove's idea of techno manifesting itself as a seasick smear of pitched-down vocals and anvil drums. Most intriguing, however, is the four-part "Dubfiction" run-out groove that ends each side, hinting at the more experimental direction he's likely to take later this year after signing to the broken20 label. A smouldering mass of synths and low-end drone cut into four parts, it's not until the final run-out that the beat finally erupts. It's a captivating bit of sound design that's just as stripped-back as the rest of his work, and just as deadly.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Unify A2 Dubfiction Runout B1 Cara Gatti B2 Dubfiction Runout A1 Cog Diss Dancer A2 Dubfiction Runout B1 Project Chatter B2 Dubfiction Runout