- Marcellis makes me think of the characters Omar Little from The Wire and Bronn from Game Of Thrones—they never seem to be on screen for long enough, but when they are it's always unforgettable. This Dutch artist has similarly left us wanting more. It says a lot that the yearning for his music is the product of a single album, 2013's I Am Woman, and two EPs, the first of which came out in 2004. He now returns, like a blast from Little's .44 Magnum, with an EP for Boddika's Nonplus label.
Which isn't to say Sleep is built through force. These three tracks span 40 BPM and a broad emotional range, the common thread being a creeping sense of mischief. "A remnant of a time long past," says Star Trek's notorious Khan in the title track's opening passage. "Genetically engineered to be superior so as to lead others to peace in a world at war." Outside of '90s drum & bass, I usually cringe at movie dialogue in club tracks, but the way in which Marcellis weaves the malevolent voice through baggy drums, plucked bass and filmic atmospheres is mesmeric.
"Indigo Skyfold" also achieves cinematic moods, by way of a 140-BPM techno track. Its busy arrangement borders on irritating but this simply makes its mellow moments more satisfying—the sudden drop into twinkling keys around the two-minute mark is pure bliss. Marcellis pulls the same trick on "Can They Do That (G Love Real Raw)" with equally impressive results. Set against jazzy drums and sampled speech, he cycles through scratchy piano loops before hollowing things out midway, a simple decision that makes the track pop. There's enough magic in Sleep to last until Marcellis next enters the frame.
A2 Indigo Skyfold
B1 Can They Do That (G Love Real Raw)