From a scroll through his Bandcamp, Charles Vaughan has been crafting out exploratory and funky music for quite some time now. There are broody ambient soundscapes – check the ‘Butterflies’ EP – nestled alongside some pumping disco filter house – see “Nighttime Flutter” or “I Just Wanna Have a Party“. Put these production chops next to a radio CV that includes the likes of Worldwide FM and Balamii and it is safe to say that Vaughan is no stranger to how both the head and the body digest electronic music.
This is crystallised on his latest EP, the understated, self-released, ‘reflection, exhale’. The press release throws around terms like “journaling” and “metaphysical space”. This might be a turnoff for some when seen next to an EP that features a song titled, “im so fucking tired of it all’, but wary punters should look past the liner notes because this EP is a killer.
“im so fucking tired of it all” swaps its melancholy a few minutes in for a full-on breakbeat bloodbath, like Paul Woolfoord on the Bon Iver remix. The sprawling 14-minute “it will get better” is about as good a piece of ambient music as you’ll hear this you – gentle and comforting while also pushing forward.
But for us, our highlight is the track we are premiering here, ‘crisis at 1:52AM’, which features the violinist Piksel. It’s a dense and knotty track. This track is meant to represent the cycle of “grief” on the record and the drawn out strings and synth work across the first 3 minutes certainly doesn’t pull any punches in this regards – this is bespoke music for rainy taxi cabs after break-ups.
As the kick drum makes its way higher into the mix, the affect begins to brighten slightly, not quite “light in the end of the tunnel” but definitely not a “bottle of whisky before bed” vibes. It’s the type of track that would work perfectly warming up a headsier dance floor, a reminder that sometimes dance music is the synthesis of the body and the head.
‘reflection, exhale’ is scheduled for release 5 March. Order a copy from Bandcamp.
1. crisis at 01:52am (feat. Piksel)
2. im so fucking tired of it all
3. it will get better