Posted by: Jimmy For Reals on June 23, 2014
Infrequent and sporadic though they may be, the arrival of a new Sully record always comes with pretty high expectations. In many other cases presumption like this is a potential recipe for disappointment, especially given the pressure contemporary artists are under to evolve and adapt in an ever changing musical landscape, but in Sully’s case these expectations are not only met, but frequently exceeded. Considering it’s been three long years since his last release (2011’s razor sharp Carrier LP) you can look at this in one of two ways: either he’s used the intervening time to really hone his craft to a point of near perfection, or he’s an exceptional producer who just happens to be on the money regardless of how often he releases his tunes – either way Blue has definitely been worth the wait.
The thing to bear in mind with Blue, is that whilst it wears its Junglist heart on its sleeve, this is no pastiche throwback record – its Jungle alright, just not quite as you know it. Granted the drums are pretty archetypal, a few tricky edits aside, but texturally speaking Sully has largely steered clear of the well-worn ruts of tried and tested formulae – which fantastic as they were, have been sufficiently well mined to no longer warrant further exploitation. It’s thanks to this respectful yet forward thinking approach that this record sounds as fresh as it does – for the most part it’s a lush journey through temperate zones, thick with atmospheric foliage and aqueous synths, as though the artefact of Jungle has been unearthed by a utopian future civilisation and reanimated using the eldritch biotechnology of the time.
Every track on the release is as vital as it is self-contained, perhaps owing to their uniformly compact runtime, effectively distancing them from the confines of the mix friendly structures which jungle was built around – although this isn’t to say they aren’t going to make you brock out like its ‘94, as demonstrated by the relentless M141 and rinsing breaks of Solitaire. Elsewhere he makes techier moves on Simple Things, Checkmate and title track Blue, and reps the sort of sci-fi romanticism usually associated with LTJ Bukem or Aladdin on the plush atmospherics of Charms – an anthemic tour de force evocative of raving in a fabricated rainforest clearing under geodesic dome in a Gibson-esque cyberpunk future. The crowning moment comes with the disparate duo of Logos’ Vapour Dub of Blue which perfectly transposes the vapourwave aesthetic of the original into an unearthly dimension of its own, and the devastating Routine; a tune so infectious that it seems destined to destroy every dancefloor it graces for decades to come.
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