NYC duo Sepalcure are releaseing their much anticipated debut full length through Hotflush Recordings. The London label that from its start in 2003 quickly became synonymous with the sound that came to be known as Dubstep, and its tradition of unearthing the best new talent in bass music. Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) and Praveen Sharma (Braille), utilize the broader canvas of the album format to develop their collaborative process and incorporate the diverse influences present in their solo work to their sonic mixture. Machinedrum has already released one of the strongest albums of this year with his Rooms LP, so what can we expect here?
The self-titled album opens up with “Me,” a beautiful haunting track that bounces and floats on top of future bass music. It’s both dark and angelic with ghostly vocals echoing between the intricate percussion and rich keys. First album single “Pencil Pimp” follows and combines the Chicago styles of Footwork and House and blends it with atmospheric sub bass and UK Dubstep, creating a paranoid groove. “The One” turns up the speed with an uptempo bassline that develops into a futuristic Afrobeat pattern with filtered, distorted vocal samples and a ravey warehouse vibe. The album jumps in a another direction with the calm and almost Chill Wave feel of “See Me Feel Me,” with piano and guitar plucking over heavy deep vibes. “Eternally Yrs” picks up the thread from the previous track, but gradually evolves into more contemporary Electronica with a few hot-right-now sounds. With the Africa Hitech-ish track “Yuh Nuh See,” the album mood yet again shifts towards a dubbier atmosphere. “Breezin,” “Hold On” and “Carrot Man” moves in ice-cold and techy Dub territory with rich synths and more ghostly vocals samples. Ending track “Outside” plays like an overcast weathered day at the beach, and the feeling of waking up in the middle of nowhere after a hard night.
The whole album is deep and atmospheric, with the right amount of up-tempo treats. It’s hard and gentle; playing with polarities. Sepalcure manages to be both futuristic, organic, timeless and current.. Making themselves sound like 2 hungry young guys from London. They prove that 10 tracks is the perfect album format, and the only weak aspect is that the 3 best tracks start the ball. Or was that a strategic move?