The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Reviews

upsammy
Wild Chamber James Ball , May 14th, 2019 09:24

The debut (mini-)album from Dutch producer upsammy sifts between several lucid shades of IDM, finds James Ball

upsammy has the world at her feet. Last year, she put out her wonderful Another Place EP on Rotterdam-based imprint Nous’Klaer Audio to underground acclaim, the title track making an appearance on Peach’s punchy Crack mix. This year, she follows up with her first album (mini-album to be precise) Wild Chamber, which carries on from where she left off — on fine, fine form.

When discussing her music in a Resident Advisor feature, the Dutch producer explained, "Maybe in a broader sense it can be a bit psychedelic, but I don't want to bind it to a genre. I think you can hear an upsammy record when it's a bit trippy or... I don't want to use the word 'sci-fi' any more, but a little bit quirky, a bit strange."

Sure enough, Wild Chamber is at once complex and effortless; her tracks are free without feeling careless, considered without being boring, eccentric without succumbing to mind-numbing tweeness. The project sifts between several lucid shades of IDM (the closest you can get to categorising her music), where silted chords swim alongside perky synth stabs and frazzling hi hats. Tracks range from colourful, minute-long sketches (‘Blue Cornflower’ and ‘Why Are You Sitting Here?’) to fully-fleshed out songs, including the tweaked out ‘Each So Deep’ and the netherworldly ‘Between the Stone’.

A discernible trait that courses throughout Wild Chamber is the use of rhythm, or lack thereof. upsammy often eschews the four-to-the-floor format in favour of disorientating and seemingly random polyrhythmic drum patterns that flit in, out and over each other in abandon, particularly on the suspense-laden title track. Her ear for the unconventional extends to her use of tempo: BPMs on the project range from a chipper 141 on ‘Each So Deep’ to a sludgy 93 on ‘I Live Here’, a musical tide that pulls you in then slowly rolls you back out again.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.