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Insular EP

Mancunian producer espher presents his latest selection of tracks on a new EP, Insular. Opening track ‘To the Sky’ is hands down the strongest of the three and wholeheartedly deserves its place at the top of the tracklist. Managing to encompass obsessive loneliness alongside fanciful wanting, the track is carried along by a solid, no nonsense techno beat and builds at the perfect pace, refusing to be rushed whilst still keeping its listener engaged.

But if you’re after an out-and-out techno EP this is not for you. The pace is slowed to a crawl with ‘When Me and You Collide’, which is far too jolting. It appears out of place and would be much better suited to opening proceedings or closing them, or not being on the EP at all. The sorrowful, opening piano chords drain the energy ‘To The Sky’ blessed it with, lowering the mood far too much. That is not to say that the track is poor – far from it – but it belongs elsewhere.

Further showing the alien nature of the second track, ‘Still’ opens with a shuddering, almost dubstep pulse whilst off-beat snare drums evoke a dystopian, futuristic hip hop. The accompanying vocals give us an idea of what might have occurred if Ian Curtis had ever grabbed a synthesiser and lived to follow the rest of his bandmates in forming New Order, with espher’s voice sounding similarly lost and hopeless in the sea of sound he has created.