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PROC FISKAL Shleekit Doss gets 8/10


Proc Fiskal
Shleekit Doss
Hyperdub

8/10

Joe Powers returns for a short but enjoyable follow-up to last year’s sleeper hit LP, Insula. The Shleekit Doss EP is comprised of six tracks that pretty much pick up where Insula left off. As with his previous releases, there’s a wonderful spaciousness inside these tracks. They’re minimal, but the construction is delicate and inviting – a kind of quiet, deconstructed, post-jungle rave in your lounge room, if you will.

Smith’s Deli gets things going, with a playful ditty on synth, a sporadic kick drum and some nifty hi-hat work. As with most of the tracks on Shleekit Doss, there’s snippets of vocal samples here and there, but these are dialled back relative to their frequency on Insula. Powers’s beats are deceptively inconspicuous here; owing to the bright, top end sounds, they can be easily missed. But part of his craft is to sculpt beats that are downright ear worms in themselves, and ultimately do a lot of the heavy lifting for getting the vibes across.

Pico lies at the heart of the EP, an extremely cool slow motion jungle workout. It starts with an acid-infused arpeggiated synth line that slowly and patiently twists throughout the track, drilling into the subconscious. Splintered male and female voices are caught up in the blender as well. Next, big bass notes sound in the background and proceed to rinse the track out over several delightful passages. Indeed, maybe Proc Fiscal should go on more hefty drum excursions such as Pico to mix up the tempo some more and get some old ravers’ heart rates up.

Closing track and video Prop O Deed features metallic percussive beats and an optimistic sounding jingle draped over darker melodies underneath. It’s quite complex, but owing to the disparate sounding elements it can be taken in and enjoyed from multiple perspectives.

There’s a playfulness in all of Powers’ work, and I’m beginning to think that given his age, it might be from a large exposure of Teletubbies when he was just a tot. In any case, Powers knows the junglists’ sweet spot for halting and tumbling beats, and is adept at hitting them time and again in his music. The beats sound fat and sloppy at first, but he has a excellent sense of swing to keep the tracks moving and lurching forwards. Although short and sweet, the Shleekit Doss EP is another impressive entry into Proc Fiskal’s precocious catalogue.

PAUL DOUGHTY

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