You can't exactly describe music man Kwes as lazy. With a new EP out on legendary electronic label Warp, Meantime comes off the back of extensive experience working with some of British music's biggest and brightest. Producing Speech Debelle's second record Freedom Of Speech, a joint project with oddballs Micachu & the shapes imaginatively titled Kwesachu and even a stint producing for last year's DRC music project alongside Damon Albarn, XL boss Richard Russell and Actress to mention a few. This is of course alongside his debut EP No Need To Run released in 2010 and a slew of singles including the insanely catchy 'Get Up' which emerged at the end of last year. With this much experience and a near spotless track record, Meantime was always going to be a pretty special release.





Impressively, Kwes fits in remarkably well with the Warp label, best known for pioneering often more experimental acts like Battles, Aphex Twin and Flying Lotus. His warp credentials are proved from the off with the EP's opener 'Klee', coming off as an ode to Warp legends Boards of Canada with its grand atmospherics and spacious bleeping. It's a morphing electronic instrumental which would find itself quite happily at home towards the end of BOC's seminal album Music Has the Right to Children. What follows 'Klee' is a slight departure, with Kwes' vocals coming into play. The same nonchalant delivery from previous tracks like 'Get up' is still very much present; his relaxed vocal approach that he employs should be boring and throwaway but in the case of 'Meantime' it displays that the real standout elements of Kwes' music are the instrumentals and the lyrics. 'Bashful' for instance sees Kwes' deadpan vocals enter the stage, but ultimately they act as only one facet of the track's multiple benefits. The beat behind the vocals, is juddering, discordant and wholly exciting more so than on any of the other tracks. Stylistically it's a slick electro-pop song, sort of like what We Have Band could sound like if they really tightened up and leaned more heavily on synthesizers. Kwes' repetition of "the lack of metal in my bones, I'm bashful" is charming and warm; which gives a pretty good summation of the whole EP including the next track 'Honey'. Compared to the rest of the EP, it's fair to say 'Honey' is by far the weakest track, but it has an endearing amiable quality to it which is hard to resist nevertheless with Kwes playfully emoting "I'm stuck on you honey." It's slightly corny, but in a way that doesn't make you cringe.





After the two more straight up pop tunes, 'Meantime' is ended triumphantly with the emotive 'Igoyh'. The 7 minute track is by far the EP's stand out, with a light clicking typewriter style beat and James Blake reminiscent synth build up accompanying further heartfelt love-inspired cooing from Kwes who states with what sounds like genuine urgency (although it's hard to tell with his voice) "I'm not going anywhere" with blatant intent. The song then builds and swirls according around the synthesizers, adding to the idea that Kwes actually has a lot of scope to his sound, a scope that I feel should be fully embraced and accentuated in future to fully bring out his potential which is undoubtedly in his instrumental ability.





This EP proves if anything, just how damn talented this guy is. It's a more than worthy release for Warp, and if he produces a full length to this standard then Kwes is going to a be name bandied about a hell of a lot more.