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Jeremy Hyman - FT048A (Future Times, 2019)

A refreshing blend of tropical techie hooze that soothes the soul on Mr Hyman's 2nd FT effort.

A purveyor of all things good and wholesome, Jeremy Hyman brings the goods yet again to a label that knows no bounds, Future Times. A follow up to his feel good and rhythmically astute 2016 release, 'Couch', Hyman once again blends the rhythms with the depths, the highs with the lows, and the mysterious with the fascinating. Finding a middle ground here can be hard, but Hyman does it beautifully, finding that balance between tunes that pump hard on a curious dance floor, and an collection of tunes that sound like a environment evolving around a listener sitting at home, deep in the night, with a cigarette and a can of Tennants. All the while, a musicality runs real deep here, showing a side to Hyman that can craft something really textured, moving gracefully between scenes and contexts, his music speaks on many a level, softly and loudly, through the intelligent use of all things electronic.

The opener, 'Slide', sums up this view perfectly. Starting out innocently enough, the tune builds and builds through clever and cunning layering of synths, pads, drums, and a pulsating bass line that drifts in and out at all the good moments. The tune feels like it is constantly building to something, and this continual growth keeps the listener really hooked in, hypnotised by the hazy vibe that is wrapping around their heads. It feels so dense, like moving back fern leaves in a hot tropical landscape, the heat pulsating from all over, leaving the listener in a state of bliss yet curiosity. That keeps going right til the very end, never dying, always encouraging. The next tune, 'Madness', starts off in a slightly different vein, with more straight up cymbals and frantic kicks moving underneath pads that swirl and vocal shouts that entice and hook you in big time. Chimes come in, adding another layer into the mix. This is what is most impressive about this EP, with all these elements acting alongside each other, the track could seem too heavy, too dense, too much like it might stumble over itself before anything has happened. But it is testament to Hyman's writing that this does not happen. Not one bit. In fact, quite the opposite happens, where again the music just grips you, like it is saying that you should be the centre of attention whilst it does its magic around you. Then, it comes to an end, as pads lead the tune out into a blissed out finale. Fitting, for such a uptempo vibe, to bring it all down smootly.

To cap it all off, comes 'Tinted Mirror'. Layered, textured drums introduce the tune, and there is a sense already that this will be the crowing glory of this record. Dreamy pads follow suit, in a much more regular way than the previous two songs, setting the foundation for Hyman to bring in other experimental elements, such as chimes, little sounds and natural vibes. The tune swirls and jumps around delightfully, with little funk keys grooving around, the pads bubbling away, the pads doing their thing, moving in and out of space. Then, around three minutes in, a switch up occurs of the highest order. The pads draw away, leaving room for calculated keys and the like, before gorgeous piano keys come in hard. This turns the tune on its head, with a delicate house beat kicking in, take the tune to another level. here, many of the swirling elements drift away, leaving behind an emotive and obvious vibe for the listener to get their greasy mits on. This solid bedrock just allows for the bliss to evolve and evolve, pads galore, it becomes quite hard to describe the essence of this sonic triumph. The manner of its composition almost defies description, its pure joy and complexity simply a lot to take in. Yet, at the same time, its not overwhelming, more just something that should be treasured, gorged on, enjoyed to the max. Listened to over and over again. Wow.

Future times have delivered some serious goods over the past few years, Will Di Maggio, Beautiful Swimmers, Jack J, Shanti Celeste Suzanne Kraft and their Vibe series to name a few. But this seriously rates up there amongst these lofty electronic names, an EP brimming with soft and warm musicality, a series of tropical scenes blended with energy, rhythm and delicate undertones. Here's to more from Mr Hyman, a man who knows no bound within a 6 minute song.

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