Epipheny - 00:00 Dreem - 2:42 Rastaman Dub ft. Dean Hu - 04:03
Juan’s email gets rinsed by a lot of stuff, so it’s always enjoyable when some exciting new music lands fresh from the mind of a new and innovative producer. This week we’re hyped to be premiering the self-titled debut of Downlow Movement's SDLR. This guy has a huge back catalogue of dubs, remixs, refixs and original productions, so Juan got gassed when he sent his E.P. through.
There’s two solo productions ‘Dreem’ and ‘Epipheny’ alongside ‘Rastaman Dub’, a collab with Dean Hu (formerly known as Manako). Mastered by Nottingham’s own Cosmos, SDLR takes you on a sonic journey over the course of the three tracks. Whilst firmly rooted in grime; with squares, eski clicks and syncopated rhythms, you definitely get the feeling that SDLR is experimenting with new avenues in the sound and pushing boundaries.
The first tune Epipheny launches straight in with an otherworldly wifey-esque feel to it, with little high-pitched vocals peppering the track. The first thing to go through my head when I first listened to it was that it almost sounds like Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (what ever happened to that guy?) made a wifey track, that sad ‘leave me alone, you must feel at home’ vocal contrasts perfectly with the overall upbeat nature of the tune. The second drop is where you can really feel the Cosmos mastering coming into its element, those sub swoops are definitely capable of licking your head-top clean off. Stuff gets mad towards the end of the track, a modulated vocal comes in and makes your brain feel like its melting into a nice warm puddle of grey matter.
The second track ‘Dreem’ is undeniably a percy. A combination of elements; atmospheric pads, bouncy synths, warped vocals and nice and crunchy percussion, result in an ethereal dancefloor heater that’ll stimulate both your endorphins and feet. Those squares that come in towards the end might even motivate a few facial muscle spasms and a gun finger or two. The whole tune has an almost glacial feel to it, but never loses the sense that its built for an energetic dancefloor. It’s one of those tunes that could be played during any part of a set. The use of pads, silence and a nice slow build-up would make it a perfect starting tune, but at the same time the energy post-drop would make it a prime time mid set weapon.
The final tune is the collaboration with Dean Hu, entitled ‘Rastaman Dub’. The tune begins as a certified dub riddim: Echoey drums, plenty of movement below 30 hz, dubbed out vocals and some heavily played with organ samples. Then the drop comes. Jheeeeeeeeze. Not gonna lie, it caught me off guard the first time I listened, it goes from a mellow rootsy jam to a straight up nuts grime tune with eski clicks, pulses and reversed samples permeating the track. A switch-up and a half, it works really well, providing the same energies felt in the previous two tracks. The second half of the tune combines elements from the build up and first half, swapping out the pulses for some pure sine-wave bizness, replacing the grimey percussion for a swinged out snare and hat combo, whilst keeping the eski clicks and female vocal sample.
All in all this a solid release. Familiar in many respects, but at the same time totally unique. Definitely keep your eyes open for more stuff from this guy in the future.
The SDLR E.P. is dropping on the 1st of December and will be available from SDLR's bandcamp:
Check out all things SDLR related at: