Review Summary: Submerse throws off the comparisons and finally realizes his full potential on Streams, a quintessential ode to turn of the century garage
Even as the opening bars of '1UP' slither delightfully out of the speakers it becomes readily apparent that Submerse (real name Rob Orme) is playing with something just a little different this time, substituting the 1's and 0's that have formed the structure of his works up until this point with something a touch more garish, something just a little more lively than what he had appeared capable of before. There's always been that promise that Submerse was always going to be capable of crafting effortless magic, its just always been slightly hidden from view, infuriatingly shrouded behind dense layers of imitations and odes to his peers and influences. It's here however, where Orme steps out of the shadows he's ensconced himself in and spreads his wings that his attention to detail and fervent inspiration is fully revealed, and transformed to something gloriously unique and uplifting in the process. It's written all over the face of the opening track, from that bouncy 2-step to the behemoth sized bass. It's that flirty invitation that's been missing from the scene for far too long now, soulful and bittersweet yet evocative and enticing. Like a thumping one way ticket back to the late 90's garage scene it's indebted to its maker's rave leanings, exploratory yet assured of its path.
It continues on throughout the remainder of the EP, this overflowing melting pot of vibrant and vintage nostalgia. 'Oh Gosh' finds itself a touch more formulaic though, alternating between lustful bouts of affectionate dubstep and full blown garage rave, all coming together under the watchful eye of a consummate perfectionist. 'All I Need' is the pinnacle though, the delicate result of the EP's lifeblood working at full capacity. Desperately haunted yet beautiful and delicate in equal measures, the track generates this undefinable yet hard-to-look-away-from hypnotizing allure. Infusing all the aspects that have marked Orme's career up until this point it pushes outward from the jaded and reclusive nature of its origins and almost forces itself into this entirely new dynamic, every diverse influence impeccably attached and aligned perfectly. He fills the impossible follow up spot with 'Stay', barren and alien compared to the more tranquil feel of its predecessor, but still undeniably entrancing and flirtatious. He piles the samples on heavy for the closing banger, melting down the cold and frigid nature of urban step into something more warm and intoxicating, wrapping up his revivalist love story with a welcome flair.
Much like Pariah's excellent Safehouses
EP, Orme's latest output is set dead center on the turn of the century garage skeleton, one of only a few like minded artists focused on bringing it back to life while adding significantly to its memory and legacy. It takes a modern approach to the idea though, focused on recreating the old by remodeling it with the modern day mindset of that oft romanticized time. Energetic and flirty, yet hypnotically enthralling, Submerse has finally found his own identity and come out on top. In a scene focused more on individual tracks than long players, Orme has compiled his legacy already, a glorious look down memory lane while moving forward into the future. Big strides indeed.