DescriptionFollowing rough and ready house groovers from Tanka and Admin, Chasing Unicorns returns with something a touch deeper. Veering between liquid bass music, which channels Border Community as much as Burial, and sensuous Detroit techno, this debut EP from South London duo Howson's Groove is mesmerising from the off. That it marks their entry into production is nothing short of stunning.
A love of machines flows through every track on Blithe. The title cut is like trip into some sumptuous nirvana, acoustic instruments bouncing off shimmering synths over a fractured beat that seems to loll out of the speakers like a four drink buzz. When the drums straighten up in the second half, striding into a raw house stomp, it's like James Holden at his most ebullient. "Attempt" is rougher, strings soaring over warped synthlines that buzz and crackle like Carl Craig if he'd been raised in Croydon. It's a record that whomps with bass yet feels deft and enveloping, with a breakdown like sinking slowly into warm water.
"Give Me", like "Blithe", is rhythmically experimental, its drums bounding between four-four, 2-step and fractured clattering like a collapsed Shed. Again strings sing out, euphoric synths chunter and grumble before opening up into Balearic sweeps that are bright enough to be almost blinding, as though you've stepped out of a club to an Ibizan sunrise. Admin slaps on the shades for a raw house roller, all stomps and synth flourishes that takes the groove back indoors and onto the sweatiest of dancefloors.
"I Wonder..." lurches as though it's drunk too much sizzurp, a narcotic stumble through light and shade that seems to bounce back from every kick as though it's been punched. It's a leering, sex-drenched slice of drunken funk, that kind of record that makes you want to fuck everything in sight. London-based Italian ex-pat Baunz takes it to a more sultry place, upping the tempo and unleashing a storm of organ licks that wiggle in a way that puts even Miley Cyrus to shame. Expect this cut to be doing the rounds in a big way.
You'll hear no more impressive debut this year. Howson's Groove is a duo set for enormous things.