One of my favourite artists going at the moment, Kelpe’s new one on the irrepressible Svetlana Industries is out October 1 on vinyl and digital formats. It’s the follow up to I Felt Fuzzy, featuring three originals and a banging remix from Neon Jung.
Jonny Dub also shared some Kelpe-ish thoughts on here t’other day.
1. Bags of Time – 110 bpm
2. Double Punt – 103 bpm
1. Bags of Time (Neon Jung’s wormhole remix) – 135 bpm
2. City – 80 bpm
A few short months ago Kelpe made his debut on Svetlana with I Felt Fuzzy, his first release in almost a year, which consolidated his place as one of the godfathers ofdowntempo while exploring new territories with the blissed out haze of the title track and went on to quickly sell out its vinyl release. The muse was clearly running hot, new tracks were popping out and it seemed only right to put out another EP quick sharp, with three originals and a banging remix from Lone protégé Neon Jung ready to go.
However, it’s soon clear this is not more of the same. There’s a leaner sound to this record. The tracks are tougher, stripped down. The summery lushness is gone, replaced by a steely intent across the whole disc, a forward facing determination, a desire to flex some muscle. The title track comes on with some distorted funk strung around a bouncy loop played live by Kelpe’s regular live drummer, Chris Walmsley. In Kelpe’s own words:
“The rhythm for Bags of Time came about when Chris was ghost drumming on pots and pans for a well known TV chef. I added a pseudo four-to-the-floor kick drum and Moogsto the clattering beat in an attempt to make something more dark, banging and analog than my usual fayre.”
Neon Jung rose to prominence as the first signing on Lone’s Magic Wire imprint, and he reworks Kel’s mid tempo roller into a giddy glorious vortex of sound. Audibly building on the same blocks as the original, but gearing it up a notch or two, this is contemporary UK dance music at its finest. At a club friendly 135bpm, it ties the heavily syncopated rhythm tracks of UK bass (for want of a better phrase) to an increasingly euphoric melody that peaks at a righteous frenzy.
The two other originals maintain the more serious vibe, driven by a newly acquired Roland 606, and signaling an increasing move towards working with hardware rather than software. It’s testament to Kelpe’s drive as an artist that, having spent a almost a decade defining the sounds that have recently become so prominent, he’s still pushing on, trying to change and adapt and find something new..
The artwork continues the partnership with France’s Rimrimrim, whose ornate yet intangible designs work in excellent counterpoint to the music. While rumours circulate of an impending album, this release marks a staging post in Kelpe’s ongoing quest for sonic adventure