Bristol is a city that grabs you by the neck and forces bass culture down you, whether you want it to or not; it must be one of the only cities in the world where timid freshers are inducted by a heady mix of Julio Bashmore and Mosca. It’s fortunate, then, that the city is so adept at popping out genuinely interesting new producers, otherwise the initiation would be far less bearable. The latest in a long line of these talents is Artifact, whose Worn EP was dropped at the start of this week. “Drain” is the perfect introduction to the EP, all hazy synths and misplaced vocals until everything is drawn together into a propulsive house-tinged giant of a submersive floor-filler. Stream the entire EP here.
Ironically, when we know nothing about a new artist more words are taken up in attempting to emphasise just how unreasonably anonymous this new artist is than would otherwise be taken up going through the usual names/locations/background/bicep size routine. And even more ironically, even more space has been taken up by pointing out this illogical state of affairs. Perhaps we should all just calm down and listen to some music.
The reason I mention this all is Circa Waves, for though the prospect of having no inane background information on which to hang vague musical comparisons is enough to confound most music journalists, with Circa Waves the music is so packed with character that the job is far less intimidating. Take any of the three scuzzy demos currently dominating his Soundcloud; they’re all brilliantly imperfect and raw anthems just waiting to be compared to My Bloody Valentine or The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, but also bursting with their own slightly unique feelings.
Perhaps that’s why the solo Liverpudlian finds himself on the A-list of Amazing Radio with just a feature in Bido Lito! magazine written about him. There certainly is an intangible quality about his music, something that’s impossible to quite put your finger on, but quite obviously sets him apart from the thousands of other Sonic Youth influenced new bands. And though its hardly the most progressive music this side of Actress, you might find it tough to care, because although originality can be exciting, it’s not entirely necessary. At the very least, nostalgia done well can be just as satisfying, and there’s more than enough of that packed within Circa Waves’ current three demos to make both ideas of originality and information seem regressive themselves.
Once in a while an artist comes along with such a fully formed sound that it just makes me wonder how the music industry got to the stage where they are still sending tracks to self-deprecating bloggers like myself. REID is the latest in this all-too-short line. Following on from his Genesis EP last July, the recently surfaced ‘Miami’ is a vein-dilating passage of introspective, melodic urgency. Whilst being powered along by a pulsating low-end, “Miami” manages to sound like a more careless Gold Panda whilst nailing an intricacy and euphoria that nudges it insistently towards the thoughtful dancefloor. That’s the one full of conservative electronic music anoraks, and this is the most fun they’ll have all night.