Review Summary: Greebled
Ever hear the term greebles
？ They are tiny, basic shapes you'd tack onto otherwise simple features to make them look more visually interesting. You've seen them plenty of times in movies, think of the climactic trench run on the Death Star in Star Wars; what would have otherwise been flat grey surfaces were detailed by silly amounts of prisms and cubes to give the illusion of increased scale and complexity. This modelling technique parallels Culprate's ability as a producer, who somehow manages to bring this method into the auditory realm. Even when his music is minimal and simplified, his hand in production creates new dimensionality by greebling the tiniest amounts of detail to every bit of sound seeping through the speakers. His ability to create space and texture within what he writes is perhaps the most distinguishing thing about his music. The Others
EP only continues to showcase this, and explores his abilities to the fullest. Each and every song is such a treat to listen to, full of playfulness and variety that culminates into a half hour of quality drum and bass.
A key aspect to the EP is the whimsical and psychedelic demeanor it sustains during its entire run-time. "Jelly & Ice-Cream" is built around a beckoning music box jingle that, true to its name, is tantalizingly sweet, while its follow up "Helter" contains an absurd amount of rhythmic shifts that playfully fuck with your head despite never feeling abrupt enough to throw off momentum. And then there's the perpetually-ending album closer, aptly named "At the Gates", which teases a finale with every step it takes before just fading into silence. It is a weirdly satisfying way to end what is a small and playful project, contrasting Culprate's full lengths which all seemed to aim for a more serious and cohesive experience. It all amounts to a bizarre and psychedelic journey that incorporates just enough twist and turns to keep things from ever turning predictable.
There is a great amount of variety on Others
, something Culprate has always been considerate of. The EP continues the direction of blurring analog samples seamlessly amongst a digital network of bass, samples and percussion. The track "No Words" even forsakes synthesized low end for a bass guitar, dancing alongside passionate yet lyric-less vocals for a great change of pace. One of the most lucid moments comes from an ambient break in the first proper song, which wondrously drifts into an otherworldly spectacle of sustained synth and glimmering sounds while holding back the relentlessness musical attack trying to break through. These sorts of moments help keep the EP from burying itself in repetition, and separate the artist from the pigeonholed genres otherwise being flirted with.
is not without faults; there are a few moments of the EP that feel a bit tiresome. "Subsonics" seems to be designed for deep-bass heads and late night clubs rather than to be snuggled into the middle of an eight song adventure. It's further dwarfed by its successor, the treacherous "Beast", which is an example of appealing to this same sound while fitting an interesting enough narrative to actually justify itself. There's also a lack of defining moments that stretch what Culprate is capable of as an artist, instead feeling more like a practice of his honed craft. Sure, music doesn't have an obligation to be inventive, but it's hard not to just want
the envelope pushed by any of the forward-thinking producers of a saturated genre.
Nevertheless, Culprate is a gifted producer and it'd be hard to argue otherwise. His ability to create space and texture in his music can accent even the most basic of rhythms and strike a balance between depth and enjoyment that works perfectly for this sort of sound. Others
is an EP playful enough to warrant its shorter run time, but interesting enough to be worth staying tuned for every second of it. And it just sounds so damn good.