Following on from the likes of Maya Jane Coles and T.Williams, next to release on ever cultured Hypercolour off shoot HypeLtd is Toronto beatsmith Kevin McPhee. With releases on labels like Idle Hands and [nakedlunch] in 2011, this man has established himself as one of the finest and freshest producers of the year.
Here turning in four more original cuts, McPhee’s fascination with house apparently continues apace. Opener ‘I Will’ has gorgeously under-lapping beats, teary-eyed melodies and dreamy female vocals all rolling along together in sombre harmony. Variously being peeled back to just the chords, just the vocal or just the scuffed beats, it’s a track that remains forever swollen with an unspoken sadness, despite making decent progress.
‘Hang My Head’ is less dreamy and more gnarled round the edges. Punching along at an inviting mid-tempo, a buried bassline gets busy as louche beats echo in the spaces above. It’s hollow and suggestive, where ‘Your Side’ returns to a more mopey and insular vibe. Here the kicks trudge along, a mildly euphoric male vocal floating in between them and some long tailed, churchy synths leaving a trail in their wake. It’s beautifully melancholic; cautiously optimistic…
‘Blue Organ’ again sounds distant, instilling a dreamy, hypnagogic kinda vibe to the smeared tones and edgeless kicks which otherwise spread out in every direction. Even the percussion is murky and half remembered, veiled with years of dust that also obscures the sound of some nimble fingers which begin to dance up and down a piano toward the end of the record.
McPhee very much has his own fine grain analogue aesthetic… this most delightful EP only confirms that.