Saturday, 3 July 2010

Roof Light – Kirkwood Gaps/What Makes You So Special [Highpoint Lowlife]

Double-header business from Roof Light, he’s dropping an album Kirkwood Gaps and a physical slice of wax What Makes You So Special on Highpoint Lowlife. The 12” EP is one for the DJs: Garage or bumpy house rhythms, deep sub, dubbed out flavours and bleepy computer game melodies, reminiscent of another Highpoint Lowlife artist Hot City at times and maybe Actress at others. While the album Kirkwood Gaps gets a bit tripy with a wider ranging sound that sits somewhere between the ambiance of Boards of Canada and off-centre hip-hop variants as well as the garage influence.

Kirkwood Gaps opens in an almost ambient fashion with tracks like ‘ Marrying Maidens Fair Of Willow’ setting the tone with distant crackles and shimmering guitar or ‘Kite Tails And Redwings’ and ‘Daytrips And Starlight’ which have their blissful melodies shaken to their foundations by crunchy broken beats, it sounds like it could be a section lifted from a Cold Cut mix. The glitchy ‘Drawing Near To The Printed’ rolls and lilts with a lazy groove and deep bass that’s pretty addictive, sometimes echoing something you’d hear from the Brainfeeder crew. Things get switched up a little when ‘Outline To Cross’ and ‘Hold It Back’ comes into view the latter with its smeared synths, rolling subs and bumpy drum patterns skip and bubble like a cross between Zed Bias, Todd Edwards and Kyle Hall. It melts and shifts from one mood to the other with melody and bass taking over from skittish grooves, like it’s a section taken from a DJ mix that’s been morphed into a full track. The dream like state of ‘Losing My Mind’ keeps things slow and bumpy with plenty of dubby bass playing under the shape shifting vocal coda. ‘Taro’ is in a similar vain but with added cut up diva samples. ‘Late Into The Evening’ brings the tempo back down with another slow burning blessed-out number. The way the album flows from early morning ambiance to bumpy midnight grooves before melting into the night is seamless.

The title track to What Makes You So Special mixes dub accents with punchy beats that pop off in all directions rolling in broken garage kind of fashion and bass tones that shake from the unknown. ‘Face Up (To Your Sensibilities)’ sounds like a deep underwater disco remake of Mario, slow house beats play off computer game sound effects and the odd echo of funky guitar, all sweeping through a soup of reverberating vocal goo, its pretty hypnotic. ‘Praying’ To T.E.’ comes on all bumpy and funky with fun cut up vocals skipping all over the beats and a bassline that wont give up until you’re moving. Things go a little bit underwater again with ‘Cakes, Biscuits and How's Yer Father’, its got a vibe not dissimilar to FaltyDL with its woozy blissful soundscapes that get punctuated by deep funky bass licks and skippy almost spectral garage beats.

Two solid releases from Roof Light, they do Highpoint Lowlife proud as it winds down its release schedule. If you want to go on a journey from blissful ambiance through glitchy otherworldly hip-hop to bumpy garage this is exactly what you need. Kirkwood Gaps gets under your skin and really starts to hit hard in its second half after easing you in with some hypnotic soundscapes. The 12” What Makes You So Special is a fun one too keeping it bumpy throughout.

Roof Light - sampler for forthcoming album and 12" by sideb0ard

Buy: Roof Light – Kirkwood Gaps [Highpoint Lowlife]

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