By: Sam E. Lawrence
Budding producer Kozmic, Andy Barrera, continues to elevate his skills, and his latest three-track offering on Thazdope Records puts him into the next tier, with other artists like FRQ NCY, Moniker, and others paying attention to him and putting his tracks into their sets.
Opener “404” is a slow, drowsy track with synths that scrape and grind their way through time, rather than the big thumpy womps ususally found in bass music today. Blending elements of trap and dub percussion underneath balanced arps and pads, this track is unlikely to stir much heat on dance floors, but makes for some very pleasant listening music.
“Energy,” the focal track of the EP, is a bit heavier and works better as a dance track. Here again, the percussive and melodic elements are helped by clever uses of reverb, echo, and grain. A quite simple tune is often improved with some dithering, and it’s clear that Barrera’s production process involves lots of experimentation and micro-tuning of elements. As I listen through this EP on headphones, I can only wonder where he may go in the future as he deepens his understanding of panning techniques and spatial sound design.
Finally, “Egypt” wraps up the EP with liquid synths and dry snares that coexist peacefully in an Eastern-influenced (minor key) track that drops the listener into some fat granular territory at the breakdowns. The sounds on this track are the most spatial of the three, and surround the mind to a much greater degree, leading to a more immersive listening experience. The melody is simple, but one isn’t offended by the repetitions, as the instruments and movements are varied enough, and all three tracks on the EP are quite
Kozmic deserves attention in 2018, and as he continues to grow as a tune writer and sound engineer, I’m excited to hear more from him soon.
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