- His most recent EP for Will Saul's label had a tougher sound than we'd heard before, but Spiral Arms finds Ewan Smith melting back into the kind of emotive moods that characterised his earlier work. "Stak Poly Rooms" has a distinctly classic feel. Rough-hewn kicks square off against grand muffled pads, with whispering hi-hats falling across it like early autumn leaves. If it's a beautiful synthesis of overt and subtle melodies, "Isabel" veers towards the latter approach, its bedrock—a single sustained note—providing a firm foundation for jagged bass attacks and Arctic-raw percussion.
"Fool Be Cool" is every bit as emotionally-wrought, but Smith offers a different take on his classically-inclined approach, forging deep house with the bubble of acid, jazzy inflections and a soulful vocal sample. Its elegantly quirky, something that Marquis Hawkes smartly leaves well alone on his skippy reworking, with its overtones of mid-'90s Todd Terry. You could call Spiral Arms lazy house music—in this instance, that would be a compliment.
A1 Stak Poly Looms
B1 Fool Be Cool
B2 Fool Be Cool (Marquis Hawkes Remix)