WORDS BY LOUIS HAINES
REDPINE & SOLO may be fairly new to the production game, but their ‘Smoke City’ EP, out mid-April on Studio Rockers, is a cause for some intrigue. The Leeds duo of John Stuckley and Sam Moss have put out a collection of original tracks shot through with flashes from yesteryear, fusing to create something quite unique.
Their taste for breakbeat is laid bare from the start, with title track ‘Smoke City’ a gloomy amalgam of chiming pads and choppy breaks. ‘Stay True’ keeps things splintered, but exchanges tempo for momentum with its shuffling percussion and thumping bass hook.
The second half of the EP straightens out the track form slightly. Forsaking the phased approach, ‘I Am Someone’ finds a jazzy beat paired with dubby bass melodies right from the start. The stand out track on this EP, its mixture of spacey atmospherics and a jump-up tempo creates a vivid sonic landscape. Finally, ‘The Love’ rounds things off in line with the record’s distinctive mood. Dark and smouldering, with Franceskah’s vocal sample it could be the opening to a slice of 90s’ D’n’B that just never got off the ground.
Enjoying bits and pieces of genres that have lain dormant from the mainstream, Redpine and Solo succeed in breathing new life into them, while still avoiding the revivalism tag. Track’s like ‘I Am Someone’ would light up any set, albeit in a shade of smoky blue. The overall tone of this EP is so defined and vivid that you can’t help but think of it as a bit of a concept piece. If you’re finding the mental imagery a little hard to pin down, a glance at the cover art should set you on the right track.