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White Noise: Peace, The Illest – Hungry EP

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Peace, The Illest – Hungry EP

Honey B!


Broken Ribs

Salvador Narrete is just the latest to emerge from Glasgow’s seething pool of electronic producers, and this is a promising but not quite great EP that still points he could join the ranks of HudMo, Rustie, Koreless and all the rest yet.

The EP kicks off with two tracks of instrumental trip-hop, and while the first, Bow Down, is a little slight, Ballet is a well-executed trip-hop piece with rising and wailing synths reminiscent of slo-mo M83 and some remarkably strong vocal sampling adding a great deal to the atmosphere. It’s not the most complex composition, and the percussion falls just the wrong side of generic, but the mood it builds is strong enough to carry the track, and it’s worth remembering the fact that with proper studio mixing these tunes would sound a lot richer.

Things start to get a little more interesting with the final three tracks, toeing the line evenly between dance and headphone-fodder. Honey B! is a sunny track, twisting a vocal line into a great digital melody with shuttering percussion and a relaxed groove. Penultimate track Sunburst is the standout here, with footwork-style vocal looping building at first not to the bassy drop you’d expect but instead to a sugary love-in, only later dropping into mad swirling synths reminiscent of Young Montana?’s debut. The unpredictability of the track makes it a real delight on first listen, and the production is lush enough to bring you back for repeated spins. The piano piece Coda and the intro to closer Broken Ribs show there’s quite a range possible on further releases, but for me the final track lacks the requisite grit to really contrast with its smooth vocal sampling and epic synth chords.

For a first release, Narrete shows that he wants to mine a number of genres and that he has a good sensibility in terms of construction, as well as surprisingly consistent great use of vocals throughout the tracks. However, I can’t help but feel that the pieces are slightly unbalanced between the light and dark necessary in electronic composition, occasionally feeling saccharine. On top of this, there’s a shallow aspect to the sound that could easily be fixed by proper studio mixing. There’s not quite enough on show here for me to feel it’s a great debut EP, but there’s enough range on show to point towards a very exciting future for the Peace project.


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