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Inner Gritty - Laponia Space Project (Controlled Violence, 2019)

Nothing to see here but breath taking expansive electronica, done through a spectrum of emotive whispers.

Inner Gritty is well known for his musical endeavours within the wide expanses, open fields and mountain tops. This EP, like much of his music, feels informed by the world around him, music that bounces and reflects the sunning vistas and beauty found within dramatic and open ended landscapes. His solo work, notably his 2017 release 'AAMM', is as emotive as it is exciting, finding this small little world for the listener to become encapsulated within in and reveal in the gentle pads and subtle transitions. It is contemporary deep house at its very best, and Inner has been honing his craft for some time now, with an equally impressive output of EPs to boot.

Needless to say, his latest offering is no less impressive. 'Laponia' touches on many well known house and down tempo techno trademarks, but it is composed and presented in an unbelievably refreshing way. The use of variations in depth from tune to tune, the layering of chords and key lines, the inventiveness within drumming patterns that provide a rock for all to develop on top. The core of each track, its identity, is very obvious, and that is refreshing in its ability to convey what it wants, and not be lost within a mountain of overly saturated music. So lets dig in.

The opener, 'Sleepy Tree', sets the tone right from the off. A quiet intro that slowly builds into the bulk of the melodic side of the song, it very much paints a picture of something natural meeting something urban, organic meeting process. The drumming here is very on point, complimenting the synths and pads on top that continue their evolution throughout the intro and through into the main body of the song. The song breaks down really well into a key solo, that is as gentle as a summer breeze, evoking images of hazy summer evenings in the cornfields. Up next we have 'Cassiope', which pumps up the tempo just a bit more. The synths and pads follow roughly the same formula, but the drumming and bass lines play a much greater part here. The synths feel like they are swaying, again picking up on this overall natural feel, that is rare to feel within a techno orientated track. They all fall away half way through, giving way to very sullen deep other worldly sorts of sounds, that sees the drums pick up once again. Its a very interesting transition, and creates that visual and audio contrast that works on so many levels. This then gives way to a third act, where lovely little dub techno and 90s house vibes kick in, before once again he throws in a final act of groove for us to vibe to. A swelling acid line, clean as hell, just gets thrown into the mix, and its oh so glorious. This tune has everything! the transitions are so fantastic, its easy to get lost in the first scene before then losing yourself in the second whilst your mind is still focused on the first.

Up next we have 'TR303', and does exactly what it says on the tin. An ode to the legendary machine, this is a tonal work out of the acid line. It chugs away, never losing sight of its melodic qualities, but the manner in which Inner blends and bends it is something else. The drums and other elements underneath do a fantastic job of the tune growing and slowing, as the acid line bends and moulds to superb effect. This is a refreshing use of acid, even for the songs long length it still feels like it could go on and grow and grow even further. A song to play deep in the set that's for sure. To finish up, we have 'Expo Line'. A final and fitting tune to this record, that keeps up the intensifying energy from the previous two tunes and channels it into something magnificent. With a kind of ethereal quality to it, the tune has an ever evolving beat, a lovely layering of keys and all kinds of crazy shit happening on top. The beat locks you in, and the tune processes all the great qualities of progressive dub techno, but with this additional twist. The synths once again swirl, with a sort of Playstation style effect to them. Its all very much there to invite you in and enjoy the progression of it all.

Inner does a fantastic job across the whole EP with transitions, they just effortlessly shift with such ease, that gives the tunes a significant weight to them, and something that runs through each tune that keeps us interested all the way through. If this EP is all about the environment, then it captures that even with a frantic pace, we can still take a moment to absorb all that is around us and smile just a little bit. Top tip!

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