Last year, Australian electronic producer Sam Grieve’s debut album under his Lo Tide alias ‘More Than Reality’ saw him fusing downbeat electronics and hiphop elements with subtle live instrumentation and the input of several guest vocalists to create a rich soulful blend occasionally reminiscent of Gotye or Bonobo. A scant year on, this download-only follow-up collection ‘Out In The Wild’ sees him applying an even lighter touch, with the live instrumentation arguably being given more space to breathe than before. The delicate, almost hypnotic ‘Ced’ certainly displays this quality, with lush, melancholic piano keys trailing out against treated vocal harmonies and the sparse rattle of what sounds like hand percussion, as a wash of reversed tones sends things rippling to a gentle close.
By comparison, ‘Dig ‘ carries far more of an albeit lazy snap as MPC beats and beatboxed samples dart back and forth against angelic-sounding female vocal harmonies and the kind of gritty slide guitar you’d expect to find on a David Lynch film score, in an offering that comes across as playful and menacing at the same time. Elsewhere, ‘I Need You’ sees previous vocal collaborator Michelle Lokey contributing her husky tones to a fluttering backdrop of African percussion and snapping hiphop beat programming, with the use of reverb and flute atmospheres particularly adding to the warm retro soul feel, before ‘Come By Sea’ sees Jack Preston’s pop-centred vocals taking things off on catchy, radio-friendly wander through clattering hiphop percussion and jangly piano riffs that’s not dissimilar to the sort of territory staked out by the aforementioned Gotye. Smooth, well constructed stuff that does justice to the much-maligned chill-out genre.