Slackk - A Little Light

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  • Grime is an increasingly loose description of Slackk's sound. From the roughneck rhythms and icy sonics of early EPs like Raw Missions, Paul Lynch's music has grown more plush. His tracks, which share the wistfully romantic mood of an artist like Lone, have an emotional depth rarely heard in instrumental grime. Lynch's latest album, A Little Light, released via R&S, continues to set a course away from the genre's trademarks. Though his last two 12-inches for the label, Aviary EP and Backwards Light, had gnarled bangers, "Desert Eagle" is A Little Light's only straight-up club track. "RC" and "Picture" have grime's distinctive dread, but they're slowed right down until they seem more like night terrors than dance floor vibrations. The mellower side of Lynch's music, last seen on 2015's Bought A City EP, reappears in the new age shades of "Spring Mist." "So Far, The Sea" makes the most urban of musical styles sound pastoral. The Eastern overtones of Lynch's previous work are mostly absent on A Little Light. If the keening strings on "Paper Santos" evoke a film soundtrack, it would be more arthouse drama than martial arts flick. But that track's most telling detail is its sample of a cocked gun. It's a grime signature, of course, but here the gun sounds empty. He subverts one of his own tropes on "End," which begins with the "hey!" vocal stab he's used on older dance floor tracks before it's overlaid with an elegiac piano line. The last two tracks imply the "end" of something—it could be Lynch's existing relationship with grime, or simply a phase of his life. (The album was in part inspired by the recent birth of his son.) With its martial drum roll and sweeping strings, "Zip Me Up" sounds like a ceremonial farewell. Intertwining strings and synths on "And The Sun" feel positively radiant: rather than the glimmers alluded to in the album title, light seems to flood the track. The skeletal beats and creeping bass here suggest Lynch is holding onto grime by his fingertips. It'll be fascinating to hear what happens if he ever lets go completely.
  • Tracklist
      01. Spring Mist 02. Paper Santos 03. Maze 04. RC 05. Sefton Park West 06. Desert Eagle 07. So Far, The Sea 08. Picture 09. Deluxe Night Edition 10. Old Petchy Shows 11. Reasons 12. End 13. Zip Me Up 14. And The Sun