Given how mad the end of last year was, a fair few things slipped by the 108MICS radar; this issue of The Overdue Review covers a range of works and artists that deserve far better than silence. It’s a diverse array of discovery here, from summer nostalgia to brutally loud EDM fusions, a way to jump back in time to warmer and crazier days as winter moves forward. Better late than never!
DrDread x Neverender – Matronae Vediantiae
Named for a clique of celtic mother goddesses, this tape from producers DrDread and Neverender brings a seriously mellow to the typically sharp sound of trap. First track “Svidmadra” is an instant favourite, built around sublimely delayed piano chords, but every track here has its own pulse. “Ortlinde” is more upbeat but still hints at an otherworldly expanse; the wide dynamic range and punchy drums hide secrets behind the beat’s propulsive energy. The sublime contrast between percussion and melody is likely a result of the creators each taking control of one domain – they work in friendly competition to best personify the tape, to the full benefit of the listener.
Glasgow artist Paprika’s discography is unfortunately slimmer than some of her contemporaries, but each track has a strong iridescence. Light floods the broken flutter of “rippedwings”, her latest, a track mixed with an intense sense of space. “I see a tall shadow, I ask him what it means” is a type of mystic writing fitting for such a ghostly environment. Paprika’s cover of “clairvoyant” is a roughly torn collage of organic and digital, with vocals flying low. Older tracks like “skeleton” and, especially, “peach fanta”, showcase the artist’s production skill. These songs are wide, enveloping and backlit by misty reverb, creating a neon world of endless melody.
John Alone – Spanish Blue
Always pushing to show his inner polymath, John Alone is no less focused on “Spanish Blue” than he was on his mid-year blockbuster “Babel!”. There’s less spontaneity on this newer subdued release, but a few surprises still, none more uplifting than “ghostsdontfloat”, a duet with Ayeisha Raquel. The two, like clouds of smoke, fly through and around one another right to the song’s end. The pleasant vocal haze lingers for the record’s totality, it’s a perfect listen for those who wish this past summer felt just a little longer. John Alone remains an exciting auteur and really knows how to use his gifts.
D0llywood1 – violet
d0llywood1 is on her way to being a household name, and for good reason – she presents a uniquely clean synthesis of electronic and trap elements that transcend into something far more human. When list season came around I revisited her sound, and was hooked by “he’s just like me” from the two-track EP “violet”. The song is an overwhelming and exhausting paranoid force, rich with searing bladed timbres like a cave rich with minerals. Stacked vocals from d0lly cry murder, warping back on past hypocrisies. There’s barely enough time in second track “no regrets” to stabilise the scene; the track is a battle between peace and repression. “violet” is constantly itching to explode – major credit to producers wastedyouth and oakscreen for facilitating this immense and stunning energy.
– Jamie (⅓ @108mics)