- O$VMV$M is yet another outgrowth of Bristol's Young Echo collective, consisting of Sam Barrett, AKA Kahn collaborator Neek, and Amos Childs of zonked hip-hop duo Jabu. The pair already have a cassette to their name, on Bristol label No Corner, and this eight-track EP for Idle Hands sticks to the same script: gloomy mood pieces built from looped, decayed samples.
The sound has plenty of precedents, and Barrett and Childs tip a nod to several. Dub is present in the hollow echoes of "Obeah" and "Sea Mills Cash Dub," The Caretaker's queasy sample pieces are evoked in the weirdly catchy "Goodbye," and "Belly" is a quilt of bleary rave chords. Some track titles even reference the recent wave of tearful grime, though the tracks themselves are about one layer of tape hiss removed from artists like Mr. Mitch. The vocal-and-synth hook in "Sad Grime" might have been the seed of a weepy anthem, but they're muffled and distant, as if bounced via shagged-out cassette.
This stylistic breadth is impressive, but it comes at the cost of a firmer focus. Fellow Young Echo group Killing Sound, of which Childs is a member, have taken a similar loop-based approach with fascinating results. By comparison, Barrett and Childs seem content to let their charming loops waft about vaguely.
02. Sad Grime
06. Sea Mills Cash Dub
07. Surprise Sisters Devil Mix