Phaeleh
Tides


4.0
excellent

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (44 Reviews)
July 4th, 2013 | 40 replies


Release Date: 08/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There’s something missing from Phaeleh’s dubstep.

Unlike other producers who have come to represent the more ambient side of the genre post-Skream/post-DMZ/post-Untrue, it’s much harder to visualise Phaeleh’s music in the same way you can imagine Burial’s enclosed alleyways, Clubroot’s alien worlds or Stumbleine’s cloudless skies. Yet this relative simplicity is probably what has allowed Phaeleh to develop his own style of unbloated songwriting and climb to the top of Bristol’s blossomed dubstep scene. For though Phaeleh’s music doesn’t have the same depth as some producers, he’s still built a signature sound – one of spidery hi-hat beats, sharp strings and dreamy vocals – and one which emphasises core effect over flamboyance.

Effectively, Tides is just one more step along the path Phaeleh started with 2009’s Within The Emptiness. Not much has changed sound-wise - the prickly beats, strings, soft vocals and general light atmosphere are all still here and their use remains minimalistic. “Here Comes The Sun” recalls Soundmouse for the whispering vocals she lent on Fallen Light’s “Afterglow” and “Breathe In Air”, and “Journey”’s strings sound similar to those of “Losing You” and “Lament”. This time however, Phaeleh’s beats have taken more of a backseat, with Tides’s greater focus on harmony between bass and vocal/synth melody leaving it ever so slightly more spacey than Fallen Light’s groovier sound. Tracks like “So Far Away” depend more highly on the inclusion of the kind of female vocals normally found on by-the-numbers Youtube remixes, but they benefit from their gentle uplift and hooks without pushing them so far to the front of the music that they ruin the atmosphere. Some tracks take a slightly darker turn, with Jess Mills’s doubled-up vocals melding menacingly with a Clubroot-esque bassline on “Storm” before reverberating melisma fade beneath a gentle synth line. A similar structure on “Whistling in the Dark” with Augustus Ghost’s raspier vocals creates a subtle sense of longing and “Journey”’s striking strings make it a fitting opener. “Never Fade Away”, with its rapid percussion and stingier use of vocal samples, is more Fallen Light-esque than anything else on here, but its spacey bassline and synths create an intriguing atmosphere, as they do again on “A Different Time”.

Tides is certainly an album of subtle diversity, though it never strays too far from Phaeleh’s mantra of less-is-more. Musical hooks are in the subtleties, whether they be in dreamy vocals, synths, strings or the harmonies between them, and a trademark dubstep tension is there in the joints and spaces of the music with a rumbling bass persisting throughout. It’s another Phaeleh album, another album where he develops his songwriting skills a little more and delivers another bag of delightful tracks to chill out, dance or maybe even sing to. There’s nothing wrong with that, but perhaps for Phaeleh to truly deliver something remarkable that aforementioned ‘something’, whatever it may be, is yet to be discovered.



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user ratings (35)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Will Robinson STAFF (3.5)
Refining his sound, but nothing too risky......


Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2013


22034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is out, release date needs to be changed.

It's 5am so I'm going to bed and I might've missed something whilst proof-reading so if you see
something please point it out to me. Constructive criticism is good too. Album's good. Goodnight.

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

mindleviticus
July 4th 2013


8326 Comments


I've only heard a bit of Within The Emptiness but nothing really else. Didn't really find it all that
interesting tbh. Might check a bit of this out.

Good review though

Rev
July 4th 2013


9439 Comments


Great review fish, I need to still get on this

Holy crap you gave something a 4! :p

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2013


50850 Comments


5 of his last 6 reviews are 4s lol

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2013


10355 Comments


Niiiice, need to get on this shyt.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2013


31475 Comments


Yeah album is great, as expected. Will read later (as in a month from now), if I actually get off my ass and review

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2013


22034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy crap you gave something a 4! :p

I've been trying to be more positive with reviewing since I became contrib. Seems more constructive
than just dishing out negative judgments all the time.

Will read later (as in a month from now),

Got a month to prepare myself then.

PunchforPunch
July 4th 2013


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

love Here comes the sun and so far away, gr8 album.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2013


22034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Here Comes The Sun is probably my 2nd least favourite song behind Tokoi. It's alright, but it just
feels like a more watered down version of what's already been achieved on Afterglow.

I think Losing You is still my favourite Phaeleh track as well. But this album is more consistent than
Fallen Light, and so probably better overall even though the highs on that album are arguably higher
(though not by that much).

PunchforPunch
July 4th 2013


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is my first taste of phaeleh so i don't have any opinions about that,and probably need to give this another spin.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2013


3491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Will read review in-depth later, but so far the album is great (only heard a few songs though)

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2013


22034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do the vocals on So Far Away remind anyone else of Ellie Goulding?

scissorlocked
July 6th 2013


3511 Comments


seems like an identical summer listen

Fallen Light was really good, hope this works too



Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

Ch0ps
July 6th 2013


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Phaeleh needs to do a whole album with Soundmouse.

MetapodUsedHarden
July 7th 2013


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

can tell i'll be listening to this a lot over summer

loveisamixtape
July 7th 2013


6232 Comments


where can i listen to this

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2013


3491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

up on Spotify as per usual (I think), otherwise it's under $10 on Beatport (with 320kbps sound of course) with a 20% off coupon which you can Google for or it's most likely available for torrenting

loveisamixtape
July 7th 2013


6232 Comments


i actually checked out some song video they had on facebook. it had a fish (i think)

it was pre cool

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2013


3491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAWJvVJoVmg

this is one of the better tracks on the album IMO, check it and see what you think

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2013


3491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh wait, that's the one with the fish in it actually i think lol

still really good though, if you like this at all the album is definitely worth a check



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