Returning in a slightly disparate but no doubt fine form is Joey Butler, better known to us as atmospheric proficient Kid Smpl; this time on the label that he helped inaugurate. A Truancy Volume alum himself, Butler spoke of his sound as “super introspective” and “isolated,” at the time of our interview with him back in 2012 only a few months removed from his debut full length Skylight on KEXP DJ Alex Ruder’s Hush Hush Records imprint. From the start an utmost disarming concoction of one part cinema, one part vocal disembodiment, and one part down tempo rhythmic experimentation (in reality a sound not as demarcated as it seems in writing), the Seattle producer’s musical project has traversed the nearly two-year span since the release of the album with the aforementioned style blend firmly intact. Silo Tear, the fourth Kid Smpl installment on Hush Hush, though remarkably different from the usual, is less of a stylistic pivot than it is a welcomed, colder evolution of the Seattle night bus aesthetic.
From the gates of Silo Tear’s five track excursion, coldness and rigidity emerges. The title track’s initial aerial embark—a once-expected pairing of ambient progression and vocal enchantment—is swiftly intercepted by an austere feedback of sorts; grainy noise, water droplets and stark kick barrages soon follow to form what becomes the most textured production fans of Butler’s work would hear at that point. The rest of the EP follows suit in its rugged tangibility and percussive pronouncement: “Far Light” rolls through with pummeling jungle break barrages, the juxtaposition of drawn out, airy melody and rhythmic intensity even more obvious in “Ja.” Butler is truly onto something, though, with project standout “Core,” where the producer is heard sidestepping the headphone immersion he’s been so successful in attaining over the years and instead nearly aspires for a club system, chopping vox, using kick triplets and unusual woodblock-ish offbeats not a million miles away from what comes out of Los Angeles’ Body High camp but even more so reminding of the evocation of Jim-E Stack.
Stream: Kid Smpl – Silo Tear EP
Silo Tear was released on May 5 and is available on a name-your-price basis via Hush Hush Records’ Bandcamp.