American electronica producers Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma have been making music in solo projects (Stewart’s Machinedrum and Sharma’s Praveen & BenoÃ®t) for over a decade combined. More recently, in tandem, Stewart and Sharma have perked ears with their Sepalcure project’s slinky atmospheric bass music, a distinct contrast with most American-made EDM these days. As young as the project is, Sepalcure’s first, self-titled full length fleshes out its sound from a handful of singles and EPs released only a year ago
The resulting product fits nicely between Hotflush Recordings label mates Mount Kimbie’s distant bass rumble and Joy Orbison soulful stutters. But there’s a scent of something more epic in reach on Sepalcure. It aspires to do something bigger than filling floors with uptempo club jams or impressing fellow musicians with studio wonkery.
If Kimbie evokes a sense of place (a Brighton boardwalk physically and sonically distant from London’s throbbing dub) and Orbison evokes Abelton-clipped emotion (moaning human sentiment trapped under the icy glass of Orbison’s click), then Stewart and Sharma together evoke something like art-gallery conceptual reach (mood music that could fittingly score a minimalist installation piece).
In practical terms, this means Sepalcure is ignorable enough to be dinner-party or nightcap music back at the crib (see: Thievery Corporation, various Chill Out mixes). Or, hell, this would be great hookup music. “Pencil Pimp”, with its off-time clavé, is just about the sexiest song you’re likely to hear this year. The song’s Orbital-like synth line offers a big enough space for two people (at least) to roll around in.
Sepalcure rewards active listening, too. “Eternally Yrs” has a crunk-ass drum pattern worthy of serious neck-bobbing. “Yuh Nuh See” nods toward Jamacian dub, most modern EDM genres’ primordial soup, which emits sonic wonders on a quality pair of headphones. You can pick out all kinds of wonderful instrumental moments on Sepalcure. It’s full of sonic treasure troves.
Essential Tracks: “Eternally Yrs”, “Pencil Pimp”, and