In an early interview with Fabric, Brooklyn based label Scissor & Thread expressed their interest in ‘nurturing artists from the ground up’ and ‘to not feel constrained by the pressures of genre’. In this respect Liam Wach’s debut EP ‘The Way I Began‘ is a perfect fit. With his heady loops, soft vocals and intricate melodies, Desert Sound Colony certainly fits the ‘oeuvre’ set by previous Scissor & Thread releases; Francis Harris’ Minutes of Sleep and Bob Moses’ Far from the Tree.
Title track ‘The Way I Began‘ is a gentle introduction. A smattering of pleasing guitar strokes, light percussion and soft duet vocals weave a reverb-rich journey; simultaneously alien and enticing, invigorating at times yet soothing at others.
On the flip, ‘Fire Egg‘ starts slow; a looping guitar lick and breathy vocals simmer into a pop-like crescendo. Although its good, the ebb and flow of the meter is a touch uncomfortable at times. Follow on ‘Iris‘ features a prominent vocal and a sombre guitar strum reminiscent of spaghetti westerns. Its an interesting dichotomy of dark and bright tones that suddenly flips at its halfway point from a gentle tempo into an upbeat jam.
Digital exclusive ‘I Get Fixed‘ has a restorative energy, the title track guitar lick is recycled and reinterpreted and the sneered vocals are supported by instrumentals reminiscent of Sohn and snatches of Glass Animals’ recent album.
Inhabiting the ever greying space between ambient, pop and electronica, ‘The Way I Began‘ eschews and yet strangely fits each genre. While it’s hard to assimilate the jumble of sound associations throughout the EP, it’s easy to draw parallels with existing greats; the flat notes of Pachanga Boys, the charmed vocals of Dave Aju, the ambient psychedelia of early Four Tet. Considering the mainstream success of artists that have mastered this space – Caribou, Howling and even The XX – Desert Sound Colony has a future proof feel.