Thursday, May 28, 2020
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Only Now: Captivity

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Artist: Only Now
Title: Captivity
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: SOUK Records
For this five-track, 27-minute EP, Kush Arora as Only Now fuses together a variety of genres into an energetic statement of musical intent. There’s the sonics and techniques of EDM, most obviously the gutpunchers and subbasses that begin the album, and a familiar palette of drones, kicks and glitches. But into the mix also go synth and guitar melodic loops, ethnic-sounding percussion patterns, field recordings and other sources of diversity. It’s EDM in a fashion, but the structures are unpredictable, the breakdown sections are longer and darker, the distortion and rumbling is harder and more evil.

It’s a dynamic expression of frustration that catches you by surprise, such as in the sudden dropped beats in “Mutants” or the spontaneous switch in “Slaughter” from angry industrial beats to a long wistful bit of guitar plucking that you might think of as a break, but which you gradually realise is a permanent change. Underlying grooves in tracks like “Bound 2” offer up a semblance of structure that’s nicely spread across the mini-album, and final track “Clock Lust” is an atmospheric ambient offering that takes the approach in a slightly different direction.

Pulling mellower sounds against distorted rhythms is not exactly a new trick, but there’s a vigour to the way this is assembled that gives this real merit. If you like your EDM seriously dark and introspective, this is sure to appeal.