Following his fractious grime debut via yours truly, the Bristol-based Aphix (not to be confused with AFX, the ubiquitous braindance harbinger of auld) claps back with sophomore EP “Chemtrails”, a three-track diversification of his already-versatile palette.
Opener “50/Thrifty” is a nocturnal, languorous traipse through timelapsed urban environs, night life flashing by the listener, who moves as if submerged. Broken beat and dub take precedence here, with Aphix’s grime signatures present only in the hollow, distant ostinato and square wave bass. A haunting snippet of female spoken word interjects every so often. Sounding like (if one may) Bicep leaving their comfort zone and doing something for Keysound, it’s nevertheless completely within our boy’s comfort zone, and a hypnotic, subversive ohrwurm at that. Follower “Wester to Gold” continues down this path, albeit shifting gears into fully eerie territory.
Title track and closer “Chemtrails”, for lack of a more apt comparison, channels heyday Ramadanman via its quizzical, ever-tentative call-and-response beat and wistful melodic overlays. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to categorize… or to even deconstruct, really. With everything so perfectly intertwined, it moves as a single congruous entity, amorous and seductive, lulling the listener into a genuine sense of security and well-earned respite. Quite unlike what chemtrails are purported to do.
released May 27, 2016
Artwork by J.D Doria
Mastered by Cyrcular Mastering