TBR: 8th April
Since the success of the flashy Hymn To Lust, previously released by this artist, Cressida makes another splash with Borneo Function. This EP draws heavily on the dubstep and techno roots which inspired his journey into electronic music. Perhaps inspired by Kayla Painter, a similar artwork to Cannibals At Sea shows a naked man among natural foliage. While exploring recordings of pirate radio shows and old albums tucked away in the filing system, Cressida found a unique blend of sounds that just needed to be reworked and put on something more modern. Setting up in Berlin and bringing his direction to the flux of electronic output there has helped Cressida to naturalise a well worked and identifiable musicality.
The title track opens on heavy reverberating beats tapped with 8-bit warbles, springy industrial sounds bounce in the centre. A clear and defined slow beat is projected from the sections which all take turns to bring their flavour. Human voices in the background add a fluffy warmth, and rotating scratches add even more insertions of energy. The beat doubles up, with the help of an extra push from the kick drum, and the track begins to find some freedom. More melodics on digital instruments coil up and form neat packets of emotive energy. Suddenly, the whole track opens out into wide open space, the percussion and noises span ever reaching distances, beyond our initial scope of hearing. Exploratory and heavy on the bass, the drag down effect of this sinister and high energy dance number is destined for many basement sessions.
Next up is No Luv Ting. Swollen beats with fat charges of dripping bass hang from the bones of a skeleton ship, sailing into the moonlight. The tempo gradually increases, an unnerving sensation of impending obliteration washes over us. Sonic strikes in distant hallways reverberate into earshot through their twisted corridors of gloom. Some spongy beat begins to bounce in an almost playful manner, it's as if we're being mocked by an audience of meatheads. Something changes, and a light starts to shine. As the room is illuminated, what was once a dark and ominous presence has become something much more natural and relatable. Tones wash over like relieving reassurances while a digital harp rendition throws scales at us from a double vision dream.
Turn the disc over and we get track number three. Upbeat digital rhythms grow in amplitude. With talkative style, drums work from each other's bouncing beat to produce a long line of chattering percussion. Metallic wails and tribal chants crawl around in muddy enclaves while a pressurised beat remains true to focus. New drums begin to top the mixture. Cranking snaps and wandering damp chimes create an enchanting slurry of repetitive meaningful nonsense that's continually dressed in appropriate sonic mischief. SansF makes use of percussive melody to become a story-telling vector of sound.
The EP ends on What Are You Like. A catchy rhythm strikes the first bar open with a slash of its edge. Soon after, clinking metalwork adds another direction and sheen to the flow. More human vocals begin to decorate the sound in abstract clarity. The pulse quickens, as new drums add yet another layer of rhythm to the mix, the accelerative force of the track surges onwards. Pin-prick high pitch tones and reaching globules of bass dance in prettily coloured skies. Happy and motivational beats keep everything levitating, while beneath a realm of shadows provides ample playroom for subtle and cheeky additives.
The EP as a whole brings on a true sense of artistic direction within the scope of some better-known music forms. It's interesting, traditional, and unique, and that's rare.
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Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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