TSA Artists

RA Review: Matt Karmil – States

19th February 2015

Englishman-in-Germany Matt Karmil may be best known for his remix of Talaboman’s “Sideral,” but his lush-yet-glitchy solo work is well worth investigating, too. Karmil told me during an interview last year that, having appeared only on German and American labels so far, he wanted to “get back in touch with (his) Englishness” by releasing on a British imprint. This three-tracker for London’s Yumé is the fulfilment of that wish, and it finds him contentedly evolving his sound, if not really sounding any more English.

Opener “I Freeze” has a certain amount in common with “So You Say (Dirty Tape Heads Mix)”—the standout from the 12-inch he released on Beats In Space last year—most notably a microhouse looping vocal snippet. It’s a defiantly low-key beast, with Karmil building up a looping background in a way that might make you think the record’s scratched, before eventually splicing in that gorgeous little vocal refrain. It goes for lullaby-ish subtlety rather than “So You Say”‘s air-punching ebullience, but that’s by design, and the end product is no less charming.

Elsewhere, the aquatic acid lines and urgent bass of “You Boil” make it the peak time pick here, and the track that would have fit well on a second Beats In Space release. The subtly shifting, Akufen-like “We Thaw” is long, simple and repetitious, made to completely trance out to. All three cuts are further evidence that Karmil’s second album—to be released by another UK label, Bristol’s Idle Hands—might be one of the year’s highlights.

Tracklist:
01. I Freeze
02. You Boil
03. We Thaw

Rating: 4.0/5

Original Source: Resident Advisor