At the time of writing this, Daniel Potter, pka Warsnare, is racing across his native London, in a veritable juggling act of creative effervescence – putting the finishing touches to his full-length debut, "Warchestra"; rehearsing tomorrow's eponymous 360° preview show at The Albany Theatre (with himself on synths/piano and a full string ensemble); overseeing the post-production on the first music video in support of the album; graciously making time to coordinate with us on the release of this modern opus via Infinite Machine. As we skype, he seems (other than, obviously, very busy) equally apprehensive and enthused, equally exhausted and energized... but most importantly, unequivocally accomplished. True to his oeuvre's title's portmanteau, his path has been both uphill battle and graceful symphony – but he has deftly conducted both to their victory and resolution, respectively.
In late 2015, devastated and blindsided by the sudden, tragic loss of his mother, Daniel embarked on a grieving process more practical and inspired (and inspirational) than most of us can muster on our best day. Crossing the pond and immersing himself in the cultural hearth of Brazil, he would go on to assimilate the choro, the samba, the bossa nova and even touches of proibidão into his compositional vocabulary. Studying and collaborating with countless local talent, and then employing this collaborative elan back home as well, he meticulously accrued a truly holistic collection of works – furiously turbulent one moment, eminently soothing the next; blending the timeless humanity of virtuosic acoustic piano, strings and vocals, and the machinistic futurism inherent to jungle, breaks, grime and other incarnations of the UK hardcore continuum; engaging in both literal and figurative cultural exchange; and, lastly, but no less importantly, flirting with a generous injection of pop pizzaz. Few artists before Warsnare have attempted such ambitious cross-over endeavours, and even fewer have succeeded. We hold these few in well-earned reverence – Goldie, Roni Size, The Prodigy, Paul Woolford, etc. If "Warchestra" is anything to go by, he is well on his way to joining the pantheon.
The aptly-titled "Intro" starts us off with a titanic wall of sound, pitting simple waveform synth incursions against the might of a lilting string contingent - setting the stage for the titular war to come. "Syndrome" marries Charlie Stark's raspy baritone with a brooding, Zimmer-esque, never-resolving, ever-escalating ostinato string piece, and 130bpm junglism. "Live Life" keeps the jungle but pivots into more soulful melodic territory, punctuated by a luscious mantra performed by Vienna Shilling. "Kairos" recruits Mercury Prize nominated and Ted Hughes Award winning poet, playwright and rapper Kate Tempest for an arpeggio- and wordplay-heavy piece of orchestral grime. "Beautiful Day" then erupts as an ebullient piece of uptempo, bass-heavy, amen-laden, nigh-anthemic diva jungle... the diva in question being Vienna Shilling on her second album appearance. "Chronos" reiterates the mission statement of "Intro", this time via xenoid vocal manipulations and dramatic, narratively-charged piano runs. "Quanto Tempo" enrolls Belo Horizonte songstress Laura Lopes (no, not the Duchess of Cornwall's progeny) for an intoxicating cut of bossa nova house. "Tuner" maintains the contrast thesis of the album via its juxtaposition of junglist ferocity and music box tenderness. Lastly, "Without You" re-enlists Charlie Parker for a profoundly touching, elegiac interplay of dulcet tones, string slurs, piano heartbreak and broken beat interjections – both fitting closer to the album and full-circle moment in its context.
released February 23, 2018
Mastered by Cyrcular Mastering.
Artwork by Greg Haynes