In an age where the music we buy and the music we steal come predominantly through the science of downloading (sticking CD’s down your top is so 20th century and most of today’s kids are too fat to run) I would like to educate you good people in the art of finding a good release outside your usual channels. Yes, I’m looking at you…turn off your Torrents your browser does go elsewhere you know…
Here’s the rub.
Take two established recording artists with a history of releasing material through net labels (which means more that you don’t have to pay a penny for their goods). Take their diverse musical stylings and blend slowly allowing them to ferment over a two year period. Pour the resultant mix into four separate servings and what you have is the Le Migre EP from Small Radio which is going to be available on the Rec72 net label in August.
Small Radio is the collaborative efforts of Small Colin and Radio Scotvoid, based in Jönkoping Sweden and Salem MA in the United States respectively Scott and Colin have contributed two tracks each to this project while sharing the mixing and production duties across the board. I like to think this process of remixing, producing and cross remixing the tracks again has led to a process not unlike distilling because as with a still the end results are highly refined.
The lead track ‘Ashtray’ is one of those pieces that starts off with a miniscule focus and just unwravels before your ears. Loping slow striding dub patterns range across the musical landscape with an interspersed effervescent fizz of a rainstorm heralding the arrival of new layers to this track. Before you know it the piece has gained a weight and momentum all of its own.
The second track continues in gentile theme ‘2K Summer House’ with a dreamlike reverberating piano line and a gentle weave of synths that rest on a bed of gently building guitar work, the guitar is an important aspect of this EP while its presence is subtle you’d miss it if it wasn’t there. (Guitar work is courtesy of Jeff Murray on ‘Ashtray’, on all other tracks its Colin).
The third track ‘By Any Means’ takes advantage of my weakness for bells and chimes and comes on like the melody for some near future fairytale. The beauty of the lead melodies are projected against a backdrop of steady pulsed beats and acid tinged meanderings that glitch and stumble almost as if they are going to collapse…that is right up to the moment the smooth workmanlike house bassline sweeps in and serves to pin and patch everything back together.
Track four is ‘Ricky Ricardo’, a sexy blend of hip hop beats, a few anxious shades of sixties spy thriller all mixed up a bit of tech noir chicanery and some fuck off squalls of angry guitar and I swear to God, I heard horses hooves in there as well. There’s a palpable tension about this one.
As a collaborative piece the four tracks on offer here showcase both Scott and Colin’s talents. With pieces of this nature there is always the temptation to musically push them ‘that little bit further’ but one of the real strong points of the EP is the moderation and restraint that has been used. One of the best examples being in the case of the sterling guitar work (courtesy of Jeff Murray, link below). In production terms all parties concerned keep level heads and as a consequence what you have here is a very strong collection, that leaves me wanting to hear what these two come up with next.