As with a lot of Burial-influenced music, there's a risk of over-emoting. Parts of the producer's RVNG debut are sodden with melancholy. "Soul Manifest" starts well, its drums shuffling like a defective Timbaland beat behind an impressionistic fog of melody. But a midpoint rap from L.A. sits awkwardly in its surroundings, and the singing voice that then takes the rudder steers us close to bad Balearic chillout.
Elsewhere, Seifu strikes a delicate balance between his influences, and finds a sound unlike anything else. "Solipsist" is the empty landscape left behind by the folk musicians: only hazy smears of the music remain, nudged along by a garage-like beat. A couple of figures enter the frame in the latter half—a plucked string instrument (a krar maybe?) and a distant, grizzled voice—but they're dwarfed by the pristine space they wander through. On "How To Save A Life (Vector Of Eternity)," sinuous flutes and strings sketch microtonal melodies over a strange, edge-of-the-seat groove. "ዘላለም (Vector of Light)" segues from a beatless intro into a clattering drum track, before bringing the two together for a shimmering climax.
Through most of this, Seifu's agenda is cleverly submerged in the strange, absorbing music. When it surfaces, as on opener "The Protectors," it does so obliquely. That track samples a speech from Trinidadian-American civil rights activist Kwame Turé, discussing the need to bring political "consciousness" to people fighting for their freedom from oppression. On Seifu's EP, whose title translates as "eternity" and whose music glows with devotion, his words show a spiritual side.