Monday, 2 August 2010
RECOMMENDED: Pariah – Safehouses EP [R&S]
The recently refreshed and newly vibrant R&S Records – they who released James Blake’s breakout ‘CMYK’ recently – are housing the second release from London based Scot, Pariah. Having been vocal fans and supporters (DL his Sonic Router mix here) since we first heard ‘Detroit Falls’ b/w ‘Orpheus’ at the tail end of last year the new EP is a welcome listen as Pariah displays the breadth of his tastes, flexing his production muscles in all directions from tribal roll outs and deep house textures to tweaked hip hop and ambience.
Percussive roller ‘The Slump’ drops hard from tribal accented beats into an almighty bass pulse that would make Untold and Ramadanman proud. Eski-like beats stomp under the building layers of percussion and bass weight until a release comes in the form of melodic soulful vocal samples and twilight pads. Like a garage cousin of Rishi Romero’s 'African Forest' in a head on collision with Pulse-X and a healthy does of melancholic melody; it’s a big one. With its deep and housey vibes ‘Prism’ is a welcome addition to the front end of the EP, where the dance floor is more of an obvious target. It’s a subtle number mind, keeping it close with a tight and bumpy percussive roll; synth’s refract and spin off in different directions over building wide screen pads.
The late night vibes of ‘Railroad’ take things down to nice and blissful as Pariah excels at a slower more bump laden tempo. He merges that awkward hip hop vibe with a slinky garage bump with ease; its like you’re stuck on a bus mid summer, heavy with sweat with no hope of getting to where you got to go on time. Sweeping melodies with an emotional pull get pushed into shape by deep bass and junglist breaks before it all melts into field recordings and the next track ‘Crossed Out’ which takes off where ‘Prisim’ left but with a rattling garage bump more prominet.
The final two tracks see Pariah in atmospheric mode, first up is ‘C - Beams’ where he harnesses his inner Dilla, which he kets stutter out under field recordings, bittersweet soundtrack pianos and computer game lilted funk. Things go deeper still with atmospheric drones on the closing track ‘Safehouses’, its almost reminiscent of GAS in some ways, its layers of sound wrapping itself around your ears before it engulfs you in a bed of looping tones. ‘Safehouses’ is a varied and solid EP with enough range and scope to keep the dancefloor working; though its real strength lies in its diversity and range of flavours and styles on offer.
Words: James Balf