Bristol-based aural craftsman Hodge has been an important player for the diverse and unrestricted landscape of experimental UK dance music, alongside the likes of Four Tet and Shanti Celeste. His latest offering finds him return to Houndstooth, the official imprint of London club fabric, where Hodge last appeared in January 2018 for the release of their VA album titled In Death’s Dream Kingdom. Other labels among the Hodge catalogue include leading underground outputs such as
Livity Sound, Peach Discs, Hemlock and Futureboogie. The reunification of artist and label brings his debut artist album, Shadows In Blue, a 10-track collection that’s available on wax, CD, digitally and on streaming platforms. Sonically it’s an overtly experimental project, a canvas of the mind that Hodge has splattered with broad strokes of percussion and sound design. Several tracks are little more than ambience-focused live jams, while others don’t hold enough rhythmic content to demand a second or third listen, but then there’s more than half the tracklist, which is undoubtably more than generous enough when it comes to masterfully polished drum transients and richly textured synth harmonies. Whether you keep the entire 43-minutes on standby or just pick two or three favourites for your playlist rotation, don’t let this one slip by unnoticed.
Where to start:
‘Lanes’ – Suspense building drum arrangements
‘Ghost Of Akina’ – Distorted breaks and complex effects chains
‘Shadows In Blue’ – Harmonising melodies and deep drum hits
Previous from Hodge:
Exogenesis EP (2018, Berceuse Heroique)
Beneath Two Moons EP (2018, Berceuse Heroique)
If you like this then check out:
Objekt – Cocoon Crush LP (2018, PAN)
Shanti Celeste – Tangerine LP (2019, Peach Discs)
Hodge – Shadows In Blue LP is out now on Houndstooth.