- SHALT is one of Astral Plane Recordings' star artists, and his sci-fi sound has defined the label since it launched last year. His latest record sees him trying the mid-tempo dembow beat, which, in the last few years, has grown from a Caribbean rhythm into a club music mini-genre. These days you can hear many variations, from tracks that explicitly reference dancehall and reggaeton to those that simply borrow the rhythmic building block. ʃælt is a nice addition to that growing sound, taking a cybernetic approach while holding on to what makes the dembow beat so good to dance to.
"Warm Chaos" is especially deadly, with a sticky synth hook and powerhouse drums buoyed by weighty sub-bass. Though the textures retain a touch of futurism, it's still one of the most approachable tracks in SHALT's discography, and wouldn't sound out of place on a dance floor-focused label like NAAFI.
As per usual with Astral Plane, the sound design is first-rate. That's especially true with "Seep," where it's not only inventive but technically adept. There are only a couple moments on ʃælt that match the alchemical creativity of his last EP, Inertia, but this EP is more focussed. "First Pulse," which is driven by military snares and big synths, nicely captures the zeitgeist of this corner of club music. Between the fresh ideas and the clean execution, it's bound to have a big impact on dance floors.
01. Warm Chaos
02. First Pulse