Renowned Oxfordshire heavyweight Madcap returns to the buttons to see us out of a ram packed year of releases on Washington based imprint “Smooth n Groove Records” with his “Joy & Pain EP.” Logical Progressions esq drums & breaks accompany an array of vocal cuts in all 4 of these cuts from Madcap.
Diving straight in, “Pray” smoothly builds up & reels you in with an array of ambient sounds & textures, accompanied by an impeccably clean set of drums & breaks before crashing out in fine fashion. Amazingly clean & concise drum programming throughout as expected from the man … ’98 flavours!
Madcap then takes us on a wee journey through time & space with “String Puppet.” Another cold winter number with echoed strings floating around each other, slowly burning & grooving out with an almost elastic bassline. Unquestionably top notch production.
Next we proceed into “Joy (Soul Tribute)” – clue’s in the name with this one! Probably our In Reach pick for the release. Thrown straight into the deep end with another set of uncompromisingly solid drums, we’re then met by more playful melodies & rising soulful tones. Then, just as you’re almost fooled into thinking we’re about to roll out, it decides to switch up on itself, ditching the drums all of a sudden to greet you with massive stabbing pads & a lush female vocal. Real 4am feelings with this one as the 808s then bounce and crash out … heavyweight!
Madcap then see’s us out of the EP with yet another gorgeous little number. “Traits” slowly burns out with yet more freezing cold reflective tones, faint strings & subtle key flicks. A truly Calibre esq bassline eventually hums out, met by a wicked horn section & even deeper tones & colours. 10 / 10 .. Another solid release under the belt for Madcap & for Smooth N Groove.
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