Sometimes electronic track titles give away a lot, sometimes less so. In the case of Vester Koza's loader mither they very much do set you up for what you're going to hear. In their easy humour and northern slang (“mither”, “mardy”, “backsies”), they tell you that this is something very human, very immediate. They tell you this is someone rooted in rave/club culture too (“taped over the courtyard mix”). But there's also a poetry to them, whether it's mysterious (“mote controller”), lyrical (“frm angel meadows to abundant slums”) or directly emotive (“don't hurt me”, “and like that... she's gone”).
All of that is in this music in bucketloads. Not that there's anything kooky or wacky here: but the good humour and individuality constantly balance the seriousness that often comes with this kind of intricate electronica. Above all, though, what makes this is melody. Whether the musical motifs are built around wistfully-remembered rave moments (the embracing chords of “angel meadows” and rolling breaks of “courtyard mix”), or more abstracted (“arthur two sheds” sounds like a dreamy, weightless take on the kind of post-grime deconstruction you might hear on Hyperdub or Fade To Mind), its the melodies that unfold through them which grab you first, it's the melodies that stick with you.
Unlike Vester Koza's previous EPs where he first found his voice, this was conceived of and completed as a single project, and its coherence adds to its emotional kick. In some senses it's a break-up record – this is explicitly documented in an arc from the fizzing excitement of the 8-bit drums in “met her in the backsies” through to the mournful ambient closer “and like that... she's gone”. But this is only one strand, and just like real-life emotions and stories, there are multiple layers to everything.
For all that it looks back to feelings and experiences past, though, it's not nostalgic, and it's not forlorn: as those complex melodies unwind and develop through each track, and through the album, you can hear Vester Koza's own musical and emotional maturity growing. And that rare sense of being allowed in to someone's inner life is what makes this record so distinct and so compelling: following those complex but very relatable emotional narratives, as they tangle around each other and emerge with fresh understanding and fresh ideas, will draw you back to this album again and again.
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- mote controller
- met her in the backsies
- arthur two sheds
- my well crap car (mardy mix)
- don't hurt me
- frm angel meadows to abundant slums
- taped over the courtyard mix
- and like that...she's gone