Restored 08 June 2017, originally published 19 July 2014
Some artists take time to appreciate. Their songs are longer than average and develop steadily. Other artists take up space in your brain abruptly and without warning. Phattcut is among the quick ones.
The opener on his/her EP Raices (Spanish for “roots”) is proof positive of this phenomenon. The track, which shares its name with the album, starts slowly and inconspicuously. Birds chirping. A woodpecker pecks wood. The woodpecker brings with it the first evidence that we’re in store for something special. The normal wood-pecking noise is warped and processed into an alien sound, unexpected, jarring, enthralling. After a minute of “natural” build-up, Phattcut brings in samples and space-y noises for a more synthetic feel. Things get real wonky from here on out. All sorts of reversed and manipulated beats, bizarre samples, and squeaks and squeals punctuate the soundscape. The seemingly-erratic structure makes it feel like being on the back of bumblebee moving in slow motion through a fractal jungle.
Each of the remaining tracks (plus guest remixes) are extra-ordinary as well and stick with the motif of juxtaposing the normal with the abnormal. “Heartbeat” showcases a sort of jungle-feel percussion (bongos or djembes, I can’t really tell) before sliding into post-urban synthesizers. “Here ‘n’ Now” is one of the slower tracks and exudes a somber, soulful feel with elements of witch-house and/or trap music. “Nap” is perhaps the most accessible track on the EP with its smooth, sexy guitar and synth which carry us through a dreamy wonderland.
Of the three remixes (all of which are based on the opening track “Raices”), I prefer that of Eufoteoria. It leans heavily into the bass. So much so that one can easily feel it, at least with headphones on. I love it when the music physically moves me.
If you take one thing away from this review, take “Phattcut is extraordinary.”
Phattcut – “Raices (feat. Jughan)
Phattcut – “Here ‘n’ Now”
Raices download page