16 October 2012
Shelter Point - Forever Now (Hot Flush 22nd August)
Shelter Point's debut EP for Hot Flush marks a distinct evolution for the primarily dancefloor label; incorporating elements of hypnagogic pop, found sounds, shoegaze and lo-fi, it's a brilliantly skronky mess of melancholic and euphoric sounds channeled into four quality tunes. Certainly, Forever Now shares DNA with other Hot Flush acts - Mount Kimbie most obviously, though there's elements of George Fitzgerald's r'n'b stylings in there - but Shelter Point's sound is a good a two steps to the left of anything else we've seen from Scuba's baby. The two piece act manage to work with a spectacularly diverse sound palette of analogue synthesis, upright pianos, spectral effects and some unique vocals that will undoubtedly garner James Blake comparisons, despite having a great deal more in common with Burial.
Much like Burial, Shelter Point approach dance music with a heavy focus on deconstruction, reconfiguring the building blocks of dance music from the ground up; blurring the synth lines and drawing out the vocals to leave the melodies feeling strained, distant and ineffable. The percussion feels like a vague sketch of a familiar shapes, as hi-hats and claves are reduced to mere frequency spikes, shorn of their decay, whilst the staple 909 snare becomes a broken-glass shatter, or the harsh metallic strike of Zippo. Forever For Now exhibits this best, with brittle yet forceful drums stabbing up through the mix, harshly punctuating the isolation tank synths. In the most literal sense, Shelter Point's aesthetic is "post" dance music - the sounds from after the dance, the fuzzy third-hand memory of bright lights and big beats, drawn from background hum of the city. Occasionally this drags a little, and the 2nd half of the EP is nowhere near as strong as the first, with both Hold on Me and Sleep Easy indulging in excessive chopped and screwed dynamics that detract from their beautifully melancholic feel. That said, the formers detuned vocal snippets are beautifully executed, and hint at further greatness. Coupled with two really strong tracks in Braille and Forever For Now, this is an exciting debut from an act we'll definitely be watching.