Not Not Fun's Amanda Brown insists she saves the straight-up dance music for her 100% Silk sublabel, but True Breath, the first widely-released record by Tokyo's Sapphire Slows, seems to have fallen through the cracks. Not that it really matters—her style of introspective downer house is hardly the kind of thing you'd want airbrushed for the dance floor.
Sapphire Slows trades in slinky, drifting mood music, smothering dance motifs in waves of vocal echo and synth smudge. True Breath is a fluid effort and hardly top-heavy, but its most successful moments come early on. The urgent rhythm on "Animal Dreams" is calmed by spectral, wordless coos and delicate piano stabs, and "Spin Lights Over You" reminds of Terekke's L.I.E.S. release, countering a low-slung bassline with soft, luminous chords and a twinkling melody. Later, "Green Flash Mob" pairs a similar ambience with machine sputters and an arpeggiated bassline, and the stoned, cyclical chants on "You Got True Breath" come across like a sultrier, less sociable LA Vampires.
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Tracklist: Sapphire Slows - True Breath 01. Animal Dreams
02. Spin Lights Over You
03. Cosmo Cities
04. Green Flash Mob
05. You Got True Breath