Sydney-based electronic producer Lavurn Lee last graced us under his Cassius Select alias with last year’s ’90 / Herd’ 12” on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Jnr label, and now this latest six track EP ‘Fake Death’ offers up his first release on Hypercolour. Compared to the fractured electronic pop explorations Lee previously crafted as Guerre, Cassius Select has previously been his more dancefloor-oriented alias, but there’s an increased level of impenetrability and introspection to these new tracks.
‘They Shook’ sees a reverb-treated vocal sample rising up out of a void of humming drones alongside spidery broken rhythms, but while there’s a flexing garage-indebted feel to the beats, the sense of constantly building tension only begins to release during the second half, the constantly looping sample sounding trapped in the machine more than anything else.
‘Cartoon’ takes the cold and austere palette laid down by the preceding track and runs with it as synthetic tubular bell tones play out staccato melodic patterns against dry-sounding snare kicks and wobbling sub-bass, dark electronic effects arcing against what sounds like treated flute textures, in what’s easily one of this EP’s most sweaty moments.
‘Loose Pursuit’ meanwhile crawls with a post-dubstep feel as clattering metallic snares shuffle against vast sub-bass drops and eerie ambient drones and contorted MC vocal samples suddenly tumble into the foreground amidst dubbed-out synth flanges, the entire track rolling with a menacing, stalker-esque vibe.
Elsewhere, ‘Screwface’ closes this EP with a wander out into sinister synth-funk that fuses stacked grimy bass pads with scissoring broken rhythms, the scrape of the metallic percussion almost sounding like knives sharpening as delay-treated samples suddenly bleed out into the mix. As with the rest of this EP, it’s pensive, stripped down stuff, with repeated listening allowing the subliminal grooves time to really sink in and do their work.