Edmondson – Hemisphere

7.5

Despite partaking in the common tale of British electronic musician moves to Berlin – Geordie producer Edmondson is not yet common knowledge in the underground sphere.

For fans of Youandewan, Laurence Guy and Seb Wildblood – here we have an emerging artist for those with an appetite for emotional after-dark listening – where melancholia and danceability go hand-in-hand.

Having undergone a bit of an evolution in sound since his first future garage-meets-techno release on Synkro and Indigo’s bassy Electro Magnetic Fields in 2013 (he’s lightened things up a lot since then), Edmondson has since released on Hypercolour, Man Power’s Me Me Me and most recently his own Lissoms that he launched in 2015. Hemisphere is the freshest to the pile.

The opener – “Adapt2” – is the standout track. The soft hum of minimal suspended chords gets things going. Over the course of a few minutes layer upon layer is added with gradual precision – a forceful broken beat, dubby bass line (a core characteristic of most of his work), a vocal sample offering an extra percussive dimension – til you soon find yourself in the midst of deep, entrancing space. The climax is the squelchy acid synth that pierces through in the middle section – a surprising highlight – before an abrupt return to the low-key minimal groove that started proceedings. Lots of twists and turns and so far, so enjoyable.

“SudPacifica” is a steady house number that continues down the dubby route but where delicacy replaces intensity. The simple repeat bass melody and hi-hat slides are playful touches, and bright, optimistic sounding embellishments add texture. The breakbeat breakdown half way through pricks one’s ears and moves one’s feet out of the settled pattern they’d found themselves in.

Most like Edmondson’s prior releases and continuing in a similar vain to the preceding track – but creating an end product that’s more moving – “Took” comes next. The gentle, buoyant bass line counteracts the emotive melodies that flutter and crescendo around it – if you stripped it out, you’d probably find yourself welling up to a melancholic ambient track. This one is a clever balancing act.

Then the vinyl only outro does what all good outros do – a few minutes of steady, soothing calm to evoke a moment of reflection.