Kevin McPhee has been quiet this year. 2011 saw the producer refracting a range of house and techno idioms through his distinctive lens, with his tumbledown beats finding a home on [nakedlunch], Idle Hands and elsewhere. This year, the careworn aesthetic McPhee champions may have become more widespread than ever, but it's taken until now for new productions to emerge from the Torontonian: namely an EP of robust beat tracks for WNCL and this one-sided ten-inch for Ramp sublabel BRAiNMATH, marking the imprint's return after two years of inactivity.
Where the WNCL EP is perhaps McPhee's most forthright material yet, "Who Loves You" goes in the other direction, indulging the woozy, nocturnal R&B tendencies found in his debut release. This sort of vocal collaging ought to feel utterly tired by now—a sound forever associated with post-dubstep's more tepid operators—but McPhee manages to give it a dark, subtle twist. Essentially, this is house music: as evidenced by the claggy kick drum, all queasy subterranean rumble, and a hi-hat that sounds as if it's been rubbed raw. But it functions as pop of a sort, seducing with its codeine-addled, sob-inducing melodics. The results are hypnotic if not groundbreaking; a compelling side-note from a producer still in the ascendant.
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Tracklist: Kevin McPhee - Who Loves You A Who Loves You