Iglew ‎– Urban Myth EP

Label:
Gobstopper Records (2) ‎– GOB014
Format:
Vinyl, 12", EP
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August 3, 2015
edited over 2 years ago

This is one of the producers really pushing grime forward at the moment. While a lot of the grime 'resurgence' has consisted of little more than pastiche, Iglew uses open space, innovative sound design, and highly considered melodies to create four genuinely refreshing tracks.

The title track is the highlight of the release... a weightless masterpiece weaved from pensive, delay soaked melodies, gentle bassweight pressure, and haunting eski synths. This really is the pinnacle of the ambient grime concept pioneered by the likes of Logos and Mr. Mitch. Iglew crafts melodies with the emotiveness of Flukes or Boy in da corner beats, but taken to a level of refinement and complexity unheard of in grime.

The other tracks are more percussive and club-friendly, but keep the open space of 'urban myth'.

'Sleep lighter' builds a dry, bittersweet tension before exploding into a clap-ridden dopamine rush of pinging high ends, singing square waves and syncopated call and response. Again the melodies are where iglew really shines, twisting and developing at every stage of the track.

'Regalia' continues the light tone, but with a more spartan sound palette dominated by digital strings. Both tracks have unique off-beat rhythms, breaking the conventional 8bar loop structure of most grime, with large lengths of silence punctuating each percussive blow. The result is both tracks sound utterly rhythmically unique. However this EP doesn't sound compromised because of its experimentalism. Unlike alot of grime producers experimenting with space, these tracks don't sound fragmented and overly cerebral. Rather, there is a solid, dance-friendly momentum carrying each track along.

The EPs conclusion, 'Cymatism' is the only track lurching towards darkness. Its icy melodies and pads soaked in cavernous reverb set the menacing ambience, before being pierced by an onslaught of deadly, restrained sub bass. Like the other tracks, Cymatism' is perfectly streamlined, using very minimal percussion to create maximum impact.

Overall iglew manages to innovate on many levels, avoiding the propensities for excessive self-reference that plague 2015 grime. An essential release.