While there's little ambiguity in the titling of Guy Andrew's sophomore release—"Shades / Textures" aptly describes his understated approach to producing—there's a good deal more of it in the young Brighton-based artist's percussive explorations. "Shades" spends its first minute lulling the listener into a hum of tumbling snares and ambient keys before completing its misdirection with a sparse rumble of kicks and woodblocks not too dissimilar to that of fellow Hemlock alumnus Joe. Over the course of its near seven minute running time, "Shades" incorporates a glut of house, grime and techno motifs in acquisitive fashion, yet seems undecided as to which ones to pursue. It's a pleasant listen, for sure, but its restlessness betrays a lack of conviction on Andrews' part.
On the other hand, "Textures" grasps the nettle with far more purpose. Like "Shades," it exhibits Andrews' considerable percussive nous, but by using a limited palette of pulsing deep house synths and a hypnagogic—not to mention disquieting—loop of heavy, frosted breathing, "Textures" makes a more memorable impression. Shrouded in a slipperiness and sophistry unseen on recent Hemlock releases, "Shades / Textures" suggests Andrews' output will continue to shift and stretch beyond the specificity of his influences. Once his ideas are afforded some time to gestate properly, Andrews won't be far off conjuring something quietly remarkable.
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Tracklist: Guy Andrews - Shades / Textures A Shades