- On Repeat / Holding Patterns is Joe Cowton's first solo EP for Livity Sound in about three years—expectedly, the two records don't sound much alike. What's striking about his latest 12-inch is how it expresses a tendency towards minimalism even as he adds more to his music. On one hand, you can still hear the grime-inspired, door-knock drums from More Games in the offbeats of "On Repeat." It has a techno-centric arrangement but melody is now more prominent.
Last year's excellent Whities002 felt like an explosion of colour from someone whose music had previously resembled the muted greys of an architect's sketch pad. "On Repeat" pulls back slightly from those more extravagant moments, but the results remain arresting. Its gliding synth melodies feel more naturally expressed, perhaps because they pull from ideas Cowton has already established.
The drums on On Repeat / Holding Patterns are customarily excellent and forthright. "Holding Patterns" affixes its kicks more firmly to the grid than its counterpart, but the accompanying percussion acts like an echo chamber for each one, so hi-hats and snares end up all over the place. Despite all that Kowton seems to juggle these days, his productions remain finely balanced as ever.
A1 On Repeat
B1 Holding Patterns