It is a testament to the confidence of emerging artists in the current climate that a record as strong as Sidney Quirk’s Add Colour EP is a self-released affair. Shunning the attention of established record labels, Quirk is a fine example of a producer choosing to represent the DIY nature of young creatives in 2017.
Recorded on the most modest of set ups – take note any of you saving up to buy expensive bits of kit you want but almost definitely don’t need – this 4-tracker opens with the dreamy sounds of the slow-burning ‘Micro Soft’. With a vibe befitting the delicate transition from evening to night, chimerical chords wash over a chugging rhythm that retains just enough bite to keep this cut club-ready while still managing to hold its otherworldly form. In this piece, the hats and snares almost feel as if they are running against to the nature of the track; yet, rather than serve as a distraction, the drum programming provides an example of how opposites can work effectively in tandem. It is this unusual marriage that neatly surmises the many juxtapositions that permeate this EP.
Picking up from ‘Micro Soft’, ‘Spacious’ continues in the same melodic vein. A thick kick and clashing drum patterns underpin celestial synth, framing the combination of a skipping breakbeat in the context of dusty house grooves. As the track builds, an unintelligible vocal introduces a certain humanness to the proceedings. An element of mystery remains throughout the track, never betraying the original message of the vocalist, and increasing the sense of ambiguity that runs through the various elements within. Sounding as if it was recorded in a single, intuitively put together take, the charm of ‘Spacious’ lies in its simplicity, as wildly different genres harmoniously cross swords in a live setting.
Quirk then takes us across more rugged terrain in the sharper-edged ‘Pacify This’, paying homage to the fragmented beats of the dark jungle and hard-shelled British techno that dominated the sound of the early to mid-90s. A statement of intent from the off, the third track on this release has all the subtlety of a Soviet-era submarine crashing through the waves on its approach to icy shores. Aiming squarely at peak time dancefloors, sporadic synths lighten the load before an utterly surprising breakdown moves away, washing out the ethereal, anxiety-laden sounds before reverting to type,
The EP closes with ‘I Do Know What You’re Saying Mark, Yes’. Taking inspiration from the Boston-born actor’s explanation of why he first became a recording artist, Marky Mark’s wise words fuse seamlessly with a generous pinch of jazz-enthused ingredients without pushing the record too far from its natural perimeters. Not dissimilar to Glenn Underground’s jazzier work, ‘I Do Know What You’re Saying Mark, Yes’ remains firmly within the realms of house.
Traversing a varied set of landscapes, Sidney Quirk’s latest offering is sure to garner repeated listening and signals a bright future for this young producer.
By Reiss De Bruin | Loose Lips
Self-released // 1st March 2017 // Digital
1. Micro Soft
3. Pacify This
4. I Do Know What You’re Saying Mark, Yes