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EP Review / Download: Shell - Ursa Minor (Little Bear)

Shell - Ursa Minor (Bear)

Ursa Minor's new EP opens with the warm and featherlight title track 'Shell'. It's a dreamlike pop record with a slight Eastern influence and a rave sensibility. Vocalist Little Bear's vocals are slightly Björk like - similar to the worldly operatic vocals wrapped in lush electronics that made much of Début so good. It feels all too brief at a little over five-minutes but it is immediately worth this EP's ticket price.

Much of what remains is in juxtaposition to that opening song. 'Ha!' features thick, chunky bass and short, sharp drum beats. The vocals remain extravagent but the wobbly bass, 'Blue Monday'-esque drums and acid patterns are from an entirely different place.

'WTF Is Love' is similarly heavy and thick with acid whilst 'Wild Flowers' is closer to the EP's opening; whilst it is less dark it lacks the lightness and rave influences of 'Shell'. Ular Gray's Bearhouse Dub of 'Shell' rounds the EP out with a reduced, minimal take - deep basslines and cut up vocals transform the track into something nearing IDM. It retains the tracks core appeal but lacks the same immediacy.

Check out the dark Ular Gray mix of 'Shell' below via the Soundcloud stream - there is the option to download it too if you like what you here:

Shell is released on 1 October, you can pre-order it from Amazon.co.uk on MP3 here [affiliate link].

Video / Download: Two Lines - Lightships

Lightships is the new project from Gerard Love of Teenage Fanclub - judging by the above the album Electric Cables, out now on Geographic, should be pretty special. The sunny melodies of Teenage Fanclub are still present, but here they are dressed in shimmering delicate meandering instrumentation.

Raf Daddy of 2 Bears fame has done a remix and you can stream or download it below. It's surprisingly laid back, taking the original and just adding some scattering bass and electronic noodling whilst keeping the slow pace.

 

EP Review / Download: Sweat Mode - Ghost Mutt

The world seems to have gone a bit R&B crazy recently, with indie kids swooning over the Weeknd's rich, slow and dark production style and warts and all lyrical style. I've never been much of a fan of the genre aside from the odd track with particularly robotic production (Aaliyah's 'Try Again', Brandy's 'What About Us?’) but something is definitely happening. Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy totally changed my perception of what he was capable of as an artist, the confessional lyrics laced with self-loathing made the album an uncomfortable one to listen to. It's a style Drake seems to have been running with - his last album Take Care is full of moody, slow tracks and his staggering hashtag-styled continuous rap bursts.

Ghost Mutt may not be caught up in the same rat hole of self-doubt as all of the above but Sweat Mode nevertheless points a way forward for R&B. This is a very brief EP at just 12 minutes but it features four short jams that play up the best thing about modern R&B: there's no need to hurry. These songs may be short but they aren't fast - you've just got four sensual workouts that meld vocal snatches with echoing bass and space. It's feels like a natural meeting point between electro, dub-step and R&B and I can't help but feel impressed.

Stream it above - it is definitely worth checking out and available as a pay what you want download from Donky Pitch (in other words free if you are tight).

BP x

Video: We Are The Creatures - Wild Combination

Wild combination make cosmic art pop that is had to resist. There is an incescant jangly pleasure to this single from Wild Combination and it's catchy as hell.
Wild combination are a three piece from Essex and this single is released on 31 October. Pan Left have done a two-step influenced remix of 'We Are The Creatures'. That description makes it sound like it should be rubbish but it actually works - it reminds me of Deadboy's sundrenched take on the genre, which is a definite compliment. Check it out and download it in the Soundcloud player below:
BP x