Monday, 19 December 2011

Review: Sepalcure - Sepalcure

And so begins the End Of 2011 reviewing. First up is Sepalcure's self-titled album, which is a UK funky/future-garage/post-dubstep thing out of Hotflush. I must admit, I haven't really followed the post-dubstep fragmentation. It seems that sometime last year, everyone got so sick of their music being associated with US brostep stupidity like Skrillex that they all collectively abandoned both the term "dubstep" and the 140bpm tempo. UK funky is one of the consequent styles. It's basically dubstep, with the skittery 2-steppy rhythms and the plaintive vocal samples, but it's generally at a housier tempo with warmer sounds, and so is considered much more "girl friendly" than the cold urban loneliness of trad dubstep.

I haven't really heard enough to genuinely offer forth insightful commentary on where Sepalcure's album fits into the genre. To me, this sounds like a lot of stuff that has come out of Hotflush recently. All these tracks seem to have the same bright videogame-y synth and manipulated female vocal stabs popularised by Joy Orbison's massive hit Hyph Mngo from back in 2009. Before I wrote that last sentence I didn't actually know Hyph Mngo was a Hotflush release, but Discogs has just confirmed it. So this whole album is basically a retread of that track. From two years ago. There are a couple of exceptions. Opening track Me is a grainy and atmospheric piece of Burial-step, which I suppose makes it even less original than the rest of the album, but since everyone's moved on from imitating Burial to imitating Joy Orbison it sounds quite fresh again. Then there's the beautiful ambient closing track Outside, which has more grainy Burial-isms and more female vocal stabs, but also some droney bits and distant pianos and no skittery rhythms whatsoever. This is my favourite track on the album by far.

So this is far from an original album, but it is very well produced and none of the tracks are bad and it's book-ended by two very lovely tracks. All of which screams " will-play-one-or-two-of-these-tracks-occasionally-but-rarely-give-the-full-thing-a-run-out" respectability. Or 7/10, as it's known in the business.

Genre: UK Funky / Joy Orbison-wants-his-synth-back.
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 7/10

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