The man behind one of this year’s most interestingly titled tracks (‘Inside Picachu’s Cunt’) returns with a less potty mouthed EP and what the Sunburst EP lacks in swearing it certainly makes up for in invention. This is a hyperactive short attention span slab of beat making, sharing something similar with luminaries such as Flying Lotus on the other side of the pond.
There’s an awful lot crammed into these 14 minutes then. ‘Neko’ starts with electronic hip hop beats that quickly segue into an unexpected prog freakout. Next track ‘Dragonfly’ is glitchy 16 bit video game hardcore influenced dubstep (!), and if that’s not too many genres crammed into a single track, ‘Beast Night’ next features oriental video game chords (and Streetfighter samples), Dre style string stabs and yet more ADHD beats.
Penultimate track ‘Chew’ is the most classically Warp sounding – a wrong footed hip hop track cut from the sonic cloth of mid period Autechre. The EP then finishes with some 80’s funk, albeit with variation provided courtesy of a head nodding 90s hip hop beat. It’s like Dam Funk with less of a retro fixation.
So with all that in less length than two Villalobos tracks, is it any good? To paraphrase EM Forster, two cheers for Rustie. Whilst it seems churlish to criticise for such relentless inventiveness, there’s less of the warmth that’s found with say, FlyLo. This makes it slightly less suitable for home listening – and despite it not standing still for very long at all, it makes it feel more like a DJ tool than a home listening record.
If this was so though the record would be aimed at a hyperactive turntablist, rather than any tracky eight minute minimal fare. Sunburst EPs biggest strength is that it never stands still long enough for you to get bored – or require more emotional depth. Sure, eventually you’ll figure out all of its twists and turns but there’s enough depth to keep you busy for quite a while, and given this is just one EP from the Scottish wunderkind, it bodes very well for him as an artist for the future.
With Warp’s longstanding ability to find and nurture electronic artists in a genre that attracts mayflies, this EP bodes well for the future. Whilst he could learn to add a little more emotion to his technical skills, Sunburst EP will certainly keep most listeners entertained through the sheer dexterity displayed in its short span.