A producer better known for house turns to electro on this EP for Maceo Plex's label.
Lord Of The Isles - Irafas EP
For listeners who know what to expect from a Lord Of The Isles record—sturdy house rhythms, funky bass wiggles, sumptuous synths—Neil McDonald's latest may come as a surprise. The Irafas EP follows the cue of previous releases on Maceo Plex's Lone Romantic imprint, dealing in sci-fi atmospherics and taut electro rhythms. But McDonald's electro is just as emotive as his house productions, recalling '90s Warp as much as Drexciya. On the EP's most graceful track, "W5 Alpha," the drums land with a warm hiss, setting the scene for arps that flicker like city lights seen from a plane window. McDonald imbues a genre generally known for its starkness and paranoia with great warmth and delicacy.
"Irafas" is the soundtrack to a space battle, concise but panoramic. The powerful flex of its snares is strafed by synths that fire like laser guns while the bassline jitters below. The B-side is stranger. Sub-bass whirs ominously on "Q-Bit," an electro track with the dynamics of dub techno, where a snarling synth threatens to drown out the chittering percussion. On the curious closer, "Three Times Eleven," an arpeggio courses through the composition as bright and clear as a river, proving that McDonald's natural influences—and his gentle touch—are never far away.
Thu / 26
A2 W5 Alpha
B2 Three Times Eleven