Bridging some five and half thousand miles between them, Tokyo based flau and Berlin’s Project : Mooncircle collaborate to bring us ‘Slow Waves’ – the first full length from UK producer Rob Orme aka submerse.
Steeped in nostalgic memories of travels in Japan and Europe, Slow Waves was written in London and serves as a hazy collection of musical mnemonics. There are scant smudged references to various UK sounds yet, for the most, Slow Waves is a soporific, blunted journey through instrumental hip hop – showcasing Orme’s ongoing love for the genre. With production mainstays of warm tape hiss, hyper speed arpeggiations, rounded subs and chiming Rhodes like melodies – this is an album as laid back as it is beautiful on the ears.
There’s a subtle movement from the muted, pitch shifted vocal R&B experimentation of previous releases ‘Algorithims and Ghosts‘ and ‘Tears‘ with a sound inhabiting similar head nodding space to Shigeto and Teebs rather than Synkro. The focus here is on intricately recumbent beat work surrounded by clusters of shimmering melodies and occasional snatches of vocal samples.
From the off, the scene is set with the incongruously titled ‘Let’s Never Come Here Again‘ – pitching mellifluous melancholia against vinyl crackle and pretty swirling motion. ‘Snorlax‘ soundtracks a sleepy Pokemon character (the name being a combination of snore and relax) and nods to a Japanese obsession with cute characters. There are memories of defunct technology as ‘VHS.chords‘ and ‘Tapes‘ deliver further gently spectral recollection whilst ‘Shoreline‘ might accompany hazy thoughts of your favourite ocean front anywhere in the world.
Slow Waves rarely deviates from its musical course as recurring themes and sonic motifs are revisited throughout. Rob Orme has perfected his style and sticks to it delivering an excellent listen – and as with all the best memories you’ll be keen to re-visit this one again and again.