Monday, 2 August 2010
RECOMMENDED: Hyetal - Like Silver/Phoenix [Orca Recordings]
Hyetal has remained one of Bristol’s most underrated – or at least underexposed – producers. While many from the city’s sizeable musical community have been making real waves over the last couple of years, with highly acclaimed singles and albums from the likes of Peverelist, Guido and Joker gaining attention among a wider audience, his music has tended to remain steadfastly below the radar. Which is perhaps a little surprising, given that it’s among the most richly melodic, thoughtful and downright soulful dance music currently being made. ‘The Last Time We Spoke’ was among my favourite releases of last year, and the hip-hop infused ‘Pixel Rainbow Sequence’ is a more than worthy match of anything the purple trio have yet committed to tape.
Hopefully his latest release should launch his star that little bit higher. It’s commonplace for bloggers to rant about everything coming out of the post-dubstep milieu as ‘next level’, but there really has been very little released recently with anywhere near the flair for melodic invention Hyetal displays on this EP for Snugfelix’s Orca Recordings. It’s the same tricksy, simple-yet-effective grasp of dynamics and musicality he brought to the tracks on his excellent collaborative twelve with Shortstuff – unashamedly larger-than-life, both sonically and emotionally, but never overblown. ‘Like Silver’ thrives off the same frosty calm as ‘We Should Light A Fire’, building from drifting pads into a driving, Hotflush-esque house/garage hybrid, avoiding the thrill of an explosive climax for something less tangible and far more beautiful.
That said, if ‘Like Silver’ is a lit touchpaper slowly consumed by its own flames, ‘Phoenix’ is the resulting atomic explosion, a rebirth that bursts into shards of a thousand colours. In the mix it dwarfs everything else around it, like lying on the ground staring at the millions of stars in space, and it’s certainly the finest thing he’s ever put his name to. Have the rewind ready for this one, because it bears repeating. A lot.
Words: Rory Gibb