Wassu, Wynnwood, and Phonic Youth, a trio of extraordinarily talented American acts, all made their respective debuts on our imprint in 2020 and went on to contribute to at least one additional label release by year's end. Building upon the momentum they generated last year, we are delighted to see these artists come together and present the wondrous "Better Place" EP, featuring the release title cut and the equally memorable production "Conscious." Both tracks feature a deliciously groovy and soulful instrumental and lush vocals from Phonic Youth.
Wassu & Phonic Youth's "Better Place," a sentimentally charged house gem, begins with a hypnotically deep groove, including Wassu's trademark toms providing a tribal element to the rhythm. At the quarter turn, a hallucinogenic arp line, airy pads, and the distant, yet beautiful echo of a woman's voice enter the fray, all of which imbue the arrangement with a walking-on-air aural aesthetic. In the main breakdown, the suspenseful buildup culminates in an ethereal refrain from Phonic Youth: "I found my way to you / In a better place." When the rhythm returns, the layered arrangement catapults the listener into a blissful reverie -- a 'better place' where worries are relinquished completely.
Wassu & Phonic Youth, in collaboration with rising Boston-based talent Wynnwood, deliver the equally dreamy and sensual house number "Conscious" to close out the "Better Place" EP. From the song's onset, a shuffling groove offers an infectious dancefloor-friendly sensibility, which is only enhanced by the fluttering lead melodies that arrive soon thereafter. Phonic Youth's smooth, yet powerful vocals are a welcome addition, as the intoxicating main hook reverberates through the soundscape: "I don't need you to feel…to feel at home / I feel much better when I'm alone." The gorgeous, almost effervescent instrumental melodies continue to swirl during the main breakdown, as the vocals receive a beat-less spotlight. In the triumphant drop sequence to follow, the vocal, instrumental, and rhythmic layers coalesce, to beautiful and truly uplifting effect.