- A former member of London's LV, Gervase Gordon broke out on his own last year as OKZharp, but his excellent Hyperdub debut, Dumela 113, belonged just as much to its charismatic vocalist, Johannesburg polymath Manthe Ribane. Earlier this year, an EP for Keysound found Gordon working with other singers and trying a more melodic approach to his future-facing South African house—solid as it was, Ribane's presence was missed. Tell Your Vision, OKZharp's second Hyperdub record, seems to make up for lost time, with four tracks with Ribane that move between bass-boosted revelry and heartfelt paeans of love and self-realization. It's all delivered in Gordon's typically stripped-down, high-gloss production style, but there's a sly pop sensibility emerging here that sounds like the duo beginning to stretch beyond the dance floor.
The angle suits this music well—all the open space left around the bass and the snare allows the melodies to flourish. The twinkling chime harmony at the end of "B U," or the bright synth tones that accent "Piki Piki," are '80s-inspired treats that many other producers would have gratuitously indulged. Gordon prefers to let them quietly bolster his weighty riddims and Ribane's fluid, freeform verses, which can be as rousing ("Teleported") as they are enchanting ("Piki Piki"). Only "Maybe This" falters, as Ribane's repetitive lines are little more than an extra texture that could have been found elsewhere. Call it a growing pain: Tell Your Vision is a step in the right direction from two artists looking to push their boundaries.
A2 B U
B1 Maybe This
B2 Piki Piki