Bobby Tank - The Way [EP]
Imagine, come July, a golden shore peppered with vacuous teen posers; the 'Suspicious Parents'-generation, if you will, who've come puff-chested and equipped with bronzed, Lynx-doused bodies, a penchant for indecent exposure and jabbering Thames Estuary-tongues. Across this exotic wasteland, in amongst the superficially desirable and the washed up whitefish, there'll be scores of portable docks and they'll be bleating out bad quality, YouTube rips of this extended play; the perfect soundtrack to a hungover summer of sun cream. Now you might assume from this somewhat backhanded appraisal that Bobby Tank's follow-up to the fluorescent, 80s glitch-hop of 'Afterburn' is somehow lowbrow, lamebrained or, worst of all, meek – but, on the contrary, it's a masterfully executed and richly colourful set of giddy, pre-club electronica; a record that, to its testament, will please both toe-dippers and discerning connoisseurs alike.
If you are looking for a starting point, look no further than the title-track's spliced boy-girl vocals, skittery beats and shuffling drums. It's a sleek and sexy introductory offer, which progressively unites the washy, Balearic synths of Disclosure with AlunaGeorge's breathy, pitched interplay. Whereas 'Afterburn' was both rousingly gaudy and attention demanding, something that has since been pushed further by the frenetic synthery of emerging SE London producer Alex Light, this is a more sedate mid-burner which grooves rather than detonates. It's a theme that follows throughout, with even the busiest and jerkiest mix, 'Zarios Echo', proving more of a sundown moment than a foot-to-the-floor, early hours banger. That said, its M83-ish patches, Day-Glo gloss and stunted bleeps are still as stimulating as anything else in his electrofunk arsenal, something which will only fuel anticipation for his first full-length.
Elsewhere, Tank serves up fizzy, Hudson Mohawke-like micro-surges and footwork-demanding time signatures on the almost ethereal, comedown track 'Waterphone Shadows', as well as thrills and spills on the caressing, Two Inch Punch-y 'Glass Moon'. Hidden amongst the latter's polished production and otherworldly sparkle, it's hazy and ambiguous refrain of "I'll be beautiful" almost works as its maker's personal manifesto; although it's not so much a resolution, he's pretty much already there with this one.
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