Slugabed – Moonbeam Rider EP (Ninja Tune)

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%image_alt%Unless you’ve been jamming under a rock for the last few years then you will know that the UK has been consistently turning out world class producers whose approach to music leads to creative, left of centre but eminently listenable tunes for quite a while now. Think Hudson Mohawke, Bullion, and Paul White, to name but a few.

Greg Feldwick aka Slugabed certainly fits the bill as another name to add to that list. His debut EP for Ninja Tune released on June 6th, Moonbeam Rider, follows previous outings on Planet Mu and Ramp Recordings and his imaginative re-working of hip-hop classics Simon Says and Witness, which grabbed the attention of Mary-Anne Hobbs and Benji B.

So far, so standard re-worded press release, which seems to pass for music journalism these days. But what’s the music like? In some ways I’d quite like to be able to stick the boot in and unleash a hack job just because I’m a bit of a git like that. I can’t do it because it’s a very strong piece of work which showcases the reasons why Ninja Tune snapped Slugabed up. The title track is a multi-coloured slice of kaleidoscopic synth lines, 8-bit melodies and off kilter drums, think Flying Lotus meets Joker in a pub in space. Heck Flex has something of a Purple/Bristol vibe about it with its melodic soft synths, swinging drums and bubbling basslines. As the EP progresses Slugabed explores a varied palette of sounds, going in with some super glitched out and wonky styles on My Sense of Smell Comes and Goes, taking in some cosmic 2-Step with Tomorrow Morning and ending with the excellently titled, and just as well executed, Nu Krak Swing.

With such a large amount of ideas and influences crammed on to one EP it’s a challenge to keep it coherent but Slugabed manages to pull it off, this is probably down to the attention to detail and obvious care and craft that has gone into all the tracks. The sheer amount of references to progressive music movements past and present might put some people off but I think it confirms Slugabed as a real talent and I’m looking forward to what he does next.

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