- Bookworms' "African Rhythms" was an early highlight for L.I.E.S. It neatly summarized the label's exotic appeal, submerging a perpetual groove in a whirlpool of hand percussion and psychedelic vocal samples—just house enough to work in a set, and just bizarre enough to stand out. After two recent collaborative outings with Steve Summers as Confused House, Nik Dawson finally returns for a solo EP on the label that made his name.
"Malfunction" has the same hypnotic and circular feel of "African Rhythms." This one has cleaner lines than its predecessor, however, and the spacey synth at the centre winds a delirious path over and over, providing a gooey counterpart to the rigid rhythm beneath. The flipside is more mechanical. Distorted percussion in rigid lockstep is at the heart of "Japanese Zelkova," but a softer synth roaming in the background provides some padding; it's the textural inverse of the A-side. "Materials" is more pedestrian. There's nothing wrong with its wispy melody or the failing-subwoofer kick drums, but your mind will probably be wandering back to "Malfunction" by the time it kicks into gear.
B1 Japanese Zelkova