It’s not that long since we rhapsodised about Hav Lyfe’s eponymous EP on Sonic Router’s label, but we’ve reason to talk about these guys again. They’ve just dropped a surprise name-your-price EP from Torus, the Dutch artist whose EP kickstarted the label’s existence this time last year. The release of “The Yard Sale” EP marks one year of the label’s existence, as well as harking towards “Feeel”, a 7″ from Torus that’s due in June. For now, let’s enjoy this unexpected pleasure. “2mrrw” takes the sounds of nature and a simple synth line and pits them against high-pitched decoration and a buzzing riff that almost resembles part of “Singin’ in the Rain” if you squint your ears the right way. It’s joyful, almost brash – by Torus’ standards – yet never overstated. “Leaves” is particularly delectable, combining echoey found sounds with the crunch of, well, leaves underfoot, as ambient synth-scapes wash around the cries of playful children. The rattle of fallen branches against trees and railings and the plonk of raindrops that precede a blanket of precipitation all come together as blissful chords hang unresolved. At a paltry three minutes it’s all too brief, but it’s canny of him to leave us wanting more. “Shallow Depth” is full of tension, cascading rhythms that match a snarling buzz of bass, not unlike Babe Rainbow’s “Greed” from 2011 – we’d love to hear the right rapper tackle a beat like this.
To sweeten the deal even further, we have a brace of remixes. Parisian producer Dream Koala, whose sound is often laced with a similar levity, takes “2mrrw” down a menacing route, emphasising the track’s sinister bassline. It’s almost a bit (whisper it) witch house. Spaceghost, meanwhile, takes the awkward synths of “Shallow Depth” and adds skittery percussion, booming sub bass and the clicks of pistols, offset against a vocal sample that’s just short enough. It’s dark, but it kicks hard enough for the club – as long as your mind is right.
It seems almost every other week there’s a new label on the scene, often from unlikely sources, so it’s nice to see one that’s willing to be a bit different. With just three releases in its first 12 months, Sonic Router seems eager to play the long game, to go about things in the right way. Before “Feeel” we have Bambooman’s “Hollowed” EP to look forward to – not exactly what you’d call market saturation. Long may it continue!
Torus – The Yard Sale EP is out now on Sonic Router Records
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