- Maya Jane Coles has never been afraid to enlist the help of others on her productions, and here she goes one step further, delivering a fully collaborative EP with Brighton electronic-folk duo Rachel Butt and Ed Critchley, AKA GAPS. Despite her continuing excellence as a DJ (her generally disappointing fabric 75 mix notwithstanding), there's been the sense of something important missing in Coles' recent productions, the house themes that previously served her so well often overlooked in favour of stabs at slinky pop. Last year's guest vocalist-heavy Comfort embodied this trend, but the winsome In Dark, In Day is its worst example.
The title track's comparatively swift pace and glistening house flourishes give it at least some bite, with a vibrating bass hum and ping-pong effects occasionally threatening to make things interesting. Ultimately, though, it all falls back on bland, neutered drums and a lot of insipid, soft-focus singing from Butt. As "Never Walk Away" and "It Rains" dribble by, however, it becomes clear that the title track might be the package's high watermark. The former is a glacially paced patter of boring clicks and snaps that poorly apes Purity Ring. The latter's muted bass and echoing effects glimmer inoffensively enough until more deeply one-dimensional vocals from Butt are ladled on.
There's no doubt that Coles is a talented artist. And other GAPS material shows that Butt and Critchley are, too—the pair exhibit more personality in ten seconds of their track "Keep You" (to pick one example of many) than in this whole package. But In Dark, In Day is fuzzy mush that's destined to age very quickly.
01. In Dark, In Day
02. Never Walk Away
03. It Rains
04. In Dark, In Day (Instrumental)