The UK artist experiments with melody with stunning results.
The sunny twist really works. Warmth and light course through every track. This is literally true on the soundscape opener, "Blanked Out," which layers airy pads and cascading tones over a field recording (babbling streams?) from a summer day trip in Yorkshire. Its tender whirl is one for early mornings, eyes closed, sun on your face. "Flote" is the Chekov of old—rude rhythms, bustling arrangement—but with a lighter step. It was made in the thick of a Ricardo Villalobos obsession, and I can imagine the Chilean particularly wreaking havoc with its second half, when out tumbles what sounds like a siren attached to a lasso.
We already knew Chekov could do broken and intricate, which is why "Swerl," the straightest track they've ever released, best captures this new, emotional direction. It's a deep house hit with a dazzling melody, the sound of wind chimes in a summer breeze. (The 33 RPM version bangs, too.) "SMP" is a dubby beauty inspired by the Iration Steppas and Zulu Swarm soundsystems at Leeds West Indian Carnival in 2018. Two melodies interweave this time, one of which, eerie and frayed, could belong to Aleksi Perälä, the way it snakes in and out of the mix. That you'd even draw comparison to such a distinguished techno artist underlines the talent on show.