Ewan Smith has been making music for almost a decade, having released a string of singles and EPs that drew from multiple regions of house music spanning the globe. It’s safe to assume though, that the first proper introduction most people had to his Youandewan project was on his deeply personal 2016 debut, There Is No Right Time.

Where even the best dance music can sometimes feel impersonal or detached and more concerned with creating a "big tent" vibe, one thing about his music that has stood out is the emotional depths its capable of reaching without sacrificing its groove.

Mostly written during a rough winter after experiencing a bad breakup and moving to Berlin, it saw him filtering his grief through various strains of dance and electronic music resulting in a collection of songs nestled somewhere between overwhelming heartache and comfort; the kind of music that captures and preserves the smallest details of equally joyous and heartbreaking memories.

With the launch of his own Brane imprint last year, he dropped the new, and appropriately titled, The Brane 001 EP as its first proper release, and its four tracks saw him coaxing that melancholy cast back onto the dancefloor with slightly busier tempos, fluttering hi-hats, and pads providing brittle rhythms over the thumping kick drums.

His new EP, Ideal-Passage, feels like the natural progression of those two records. Though none of the three songs here are the mood pieces of his debut, they still bring his fusion of pensiveness and dance music's hypnotic pulse to what feels like its natural conclusion.

'Ideal-Passage' offers what's likely the best example of this: not as forlorn as anything from that album, tinges of melancholy cam still be found in its melodies, which mingle with sampled humid moans set against a backdrop of sputtering hi-hats and pulsing beats.

It's house music for late summer night drives through mostly deserted city streets and highways. The quick-stepping 'Thewizzwasfordillysmissus' lands smack dab in the middle of the dancefloor with a hyperelastic beat colored by tranquil keys and glimmering synths while the snapping funk of 'Sicko' brings things to a close.

Smith's production has always been tasteful and balanced, but sometimes at the expense of the music itself. The songs are neatly structured and polished, and he knows how to patiently build and sustain emotion, but sometimes all the focus leaves little room for those emotions to grow and climax. It's a minor gripe that doesn't really do much to diminish the impact of the music. Expressive and playful as anything he's released, taken as a whole, Ideal-Passage is a 20-minute mood piece that finds Smith exploring reflective and more mellow spaces.