- Vibrant minimal house with a new age twist.
- No matter what sound he tries, Afriqua has no problem with the technical side of production. Whether he's making Djrum-school drum & bass or Sunwaves bombs, his work has the effortless polish of a producer who could probably churn out just about anything. He also has musicality in a traditional sense, both as an instrumentalist and an arranger.
Vice/Principle represents his talents better than any previous release. Clocking in around half an hour, it has the weight and depth of a mini-album. The extended format charges the cinematic sweep and granular scree of his minimal roots with a greater sense of freedom. No longer shackled to the need for pure, consistent groove, his knack for evocative combinations of acoustic and digital sources is allowed to run free. "Cerch," for instance, juxtaposes jazzy double bass figures with flurries of glitching grains atop a feather-light quasi-UK garage groove. It's nimble, musical and full of life, although the solemn suggestions to "Free your mind" felt a little off-the-shelf.
There's a distinctly new age feel running through Vice/Principle. Various passages point to dappled lounge jazz or sunny Mediterranean get-aways. "Melamed" heavily samples Stan Brakhage's film The Stars Are Beautiful, highlighting lines such as, "The sun is the ejaculation of the penis in the vagina of the universe," while ripples of modal stringed instruments and a raga-esque tom rhythm enhance the chance for spiritual deliverance. The more allusive tracks fare better, especially the swerve of "Noumenon" and the demented IDM funk of "Vermiform." Afriqua wears his heart on his sleeve and it's hard to deny the sense of joy and wonder displayed across the EP. Combine this with out-there electronics and a pleasant melodic sensibility and you have a release that will strike chords with a range of audiences.