It’s been nearly two years since Richelle put out his “Mascotte EP” on the Pelican Fly imprint, which he co-runs with DJ Slow. Since that first release the Belgian label has gone from strength to strength, racking up EPs from a small but talented pool of globally-dispersed musicians. Now eight records deep, it was about time they put together a compilation, and “Feathers” offers a scintillating insight into Pelican Fly’s colourful sound palette.
The opening track comes courtesy of Zora Jones, with whom we’ve been smitten ever since her all-Dipset Diplomacy mix. A newcomer to the label, Jones’ “Money Cat” opens with a minute and a half of shimmering tripped-out choir vocals before playfully exploding into a pristine feast of glossy low-end bass. Heavyweight club efforts come from Cashmere Cat and Sinjin Hawke. Cashmere Cat’s “Aurora” sounds like it could be an outtake from Hudson Mohawke’s now foundational “Butter”, with its sensual synth lick and in-your-face brass. Sinjin Hawke’s “Prom Nite” takes the smooth hip-hop vibes we heard on his 2011 EP “These Lights” and ramps them up to create a boisterous dancefloor-ready banger.
Stream: Various Artists – Feathers EP (Pelican Fly)
Then there’s Samename’s contribution, “Mishima Curse“, which is potentially the highlight of the compilation. The track maintains the perfect balance of delicacy and aggression, its dizzying panpipe melody and stabbing pads proving exactly why the young producer (who we interviewed back in September) is one of the leading names in the new wave of instrumental grime. Richelle closes “Feathers” with “Circular Motions 2025“. It’s a ballroom effort with drawn-out piano chords and repetitive vocal samples, but it really comes to life during the Middle Eastern breakdown. With additional tracks from label regulars Lucid, Mister Tweeks and Deebs, “Feathers” is an excellent primer for everyone who’s slept on the ever-impressive Pelican Fly crew.
Pelican Fly’s “Feathers” compilation is available now.