While she’s already kept busy with her two other bands Velella Velella and the electro-pop based The Long Ranger, Brooklyn-based electronic producer Sylvia Chen began Seafloor back in 2000 as a personal journal project, with the ensuing years seeing her explore a diverse range of electronic genres ranging from triphop and electro-pop through to drum and bass. While she’s been making music under the Seafloor alias for more than a decade though, this five track download only EP ‘Fissure’ on Russian label Hyperboloid represents (as far as I know) her debut public release.
There’s a distinctly stripped-back post-broken beat / garage feel to much of the material here. Opener ‘Fernandea’ sends nervously jittering snares and kicks rattling against a sheeny backdrop of airy pads and dark moody analogue bass stabs, the resulting streamlined night-drive feel calling to mind some of the more Detroit-tinged ends of Martyn’s discography – particularly as footwork rhythms lock into place towards the end around soulful synth bends. By comparison, ‘Kuwae’ sees the ruggedness of the beats going up a few notches as a dancehall / dub-centred rhythmic pulse rolls against glittery electronics, fragments of soul vocals and a wobbling dubstep bassline that leans closer to the likes of Scientist or Pinch. ‘Pukau’ gets further into shuffling snare trickery, sending elastic-sounding bass toms bouncing against phased synth arpeggios, before suddenly dropping things down into a grimy breakdown section that calls to mind Squarepusher as much as it does 2 Bad Mice-style early nineties hardcore rave. If this is in fact Chen’s first release as Seafloor, then it’s an astonishingly polished and assured one.