- Hi & Saberhägen mix two ingredients: sweet, sample-led house and something stranger and more elusive. This EP for Midland's new Intergraded label favours the latter. The music's gentle pacing, crackly atmospheres and rumpled low-tempo drums make it easy on the ears, but beneath that gentle veneer there's something odd going on. The Edinburgh duo have always made sophisticated music, but they have excelled themselves with these four shapeshifting tracks. All are rich with details that surface on repeat listens.
Sequencing helps. Hi & Saberhägen sneakily lower your defences by putting the prettiest track first. The vocal on the lullaby-like "Loveless" fits so snugly that it could be a bespoke recording. The sound quality suggests a judiciously chosen sample, however. The other tracks lack such a firm hook, instead focussing on deft structural shifts that throw extra dimensions on simple-seeming ideas. "Parachute"'s 106-BPM chug passes through shifting spaces, descending into an increasingly dank rave cave before a chord sweetens things up. "Light On Leaves," the EP's energetic highpoint, is all fidgety, fizzing potential at first, before zonking out and shrinking down to pinpoint detail at the close. On "Alright" drizzly grey clouds approach and recede, letting through a flash of twinkling sky near the end, but they never fully clear. The unresolved is what makes this EP so interesting.
B1 Light On Leaves