"New Day Theme," which opens Inkke's Secret Palace EP, is an example of the former, full of hollowed-out synths that sound like pan-pipes. It's a saccharine introduction that gets across Inkke's way with melody and layering. He uses those tools more sparingly on the rest of the EP, adding more to chew on in his club tracks. "Chores" is a minimal, Baauer-esque workout built from choral pads and finger snaps, but towards the end it gets grandiose and theatrical, a turn that its spartan intro doesn't set up. Same goes for EP highlight "Simmer," which is based on some fresh-sounding synth brass and blessed with choral vocals that lend a large sense of scale. The way the drums move through all of that is exhilarating.
Unfortunately, when Inkke doesn't go for the big climaxes his beats can feel stale, which is exacerbated by the default sounds he uses. The ruddy synth guitar on "Tales From The Quick" gets tiresome fast, and Inkke's oversized echo chamber makes it feel like a factory-made trap banger. The same beats-by-numbers feel chokes "Ghost World," an otherwise lovely track whose assemblage of 8-bit synths, camera shutter sounds and high-pitched noises could have come from a readymade sample pack. "Sorry," Secret Palace's most minimalist track, points the way forward for Inkke. On it, the restless drums switch between broken beat and sprinting 4/4 passages, a bright moment of ingenuity in an EP that otherwise feels couched in tradition. It's wonky, tricky to follow along with and all the more exciting for it.