Al Zanders, a young producer from Sheffield (also known as Lodger), has followed up his previous two releases for Stamp records with a three-track record on Phonica sub-label, Karakul. Zanders picks up the pace after the debut release on the imprint from NY*AK, yet still issues the same lazy and low-slung sound that saw the first release fly off the shelves around the UK.
The A-side kicks off with 'Slender', a melodic, ambient track that engulfs the listener into a sort of washy, moody state. Zanders's live deep-house bassline builds and builds, allowing vocal hints and piano splurges to appear throughout the track. The snares and piano cuts seem to fall off the record, not entirely in perfect time. If you like this track, then check out his release on Blind Jacks Journey.
Flip over and the B1 continues in the same rich vein. 'I Don't Want You To Judge' seems to be the slightly livelier sister track to 'Sleder,' with its vocal samples complimenting the analogue sound nicely. I was particularly impressed with the disco-y guitar riffs that arrive about halfway through the song before the track drops again into the conga loop that makes the track such a roller.
The last track, 'Let Me Be Lonely,' starts with a sample of Isaac Hayes's 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight' (1978) before plunging into the warmest bassline of them all. Snare snaps, echoing hi-hats amongst other percussion stabs make this a thoroughly versatile piece of music that can be played at any time in any place. Zanders, in my opinion, has left the best until last on this EP.
A remarkable release that marks the tenth episode of our Record of the Week feature.
Listen and share.
Words by Matthew Barnett