Yves Tomas – Pilot

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Matt Edwards aka Radio Slave’s renowned label Rekids has long been associated with cutting edge dance music, pushing out records from the likes of Nina Kraviz, Peggy Gou and Basemant Jaxx. 

London-based DJ and producer Yves Tomas is the newest addition to the Rekids family. His debut on the label Pilot is made up of a blend of styles and visions across the seven tracks. Tomas’ roots in Bristol means he is indebted to the club culture of the West Country, combining this with his work as a studio engineer, he’s moulded his own style of electronic music in response.

Opening with “Braindead”, whose suspenseful, vibrational beginning does slightly align with the name only to the halfway point – a dramatic, downtempo track which sparks into life at the beat.

“MA1” is unarguably the dance floor anthem on the EP. Saturated with reverberating breaks, layered synths and echoed vocals, which oscillate together for an ethereal feel, transporting you to a summery haven in this dire time of isolation.

“River” brings in a different mood, bursting with Tomas’ extensive jungle and grime influences with its incorporation of lively stabs and vivacious percussion. The chatty and melodic vocals speak to a feeling of nostalgic deep/lo-fi house, but an upbeat rhythm balances it out smoothly. A change of pace again comes with the soulful “Elephant & Snake” combining tribal elements and syncopated drums. The hypnotic bassline breaks to introduce elevating organ keys which in turn create an eerie feel, giving way to the heavy drumbeat – an amalgamation of slightly disorientating sounds. 

The fifth track, “Callout FM” begins with a North London reference on the vocals and follows with rattling snares and a repeated arpeggio making it a playful one. Tomas finishes off his EP with the titular track “Pilot”, harnessing a more ambient feel ensuing a direction of calm, specifically from the vocoder vocals and the blurry bassline. 

The digital bonus track “Birds Of The Barbican” is a treat that tops the EP off. A cinematic addition, it features birdsong field recordings mixed with quivering synths on a regulated rhythm, clearly inspired by the Barbican arts centre in London. An obvious place of creative inspiration to Tomas, it is famed for its brutalist architecture, and some of the monolithic attributes and rigid geometric style are cleverly mimicked in the track.