Reviews Bearcubs Underwaterfall EP

Bearcubs

Underwaterfall EP

25-year-old English producer and DJ Jack Ritchie, aka Bearcubs, first attracted the attention of the BBC's new music arm, BBC Introducing, after uploading some of his tracks to their website. This piqued the interest of the BBC Introducing team, and saw Ritchie's experimental electronica get praise from the likes of Annie Mac and Huw Stephens. This was followed by the release of the infectiously catchy single "Touch" and his 2016 EP Chroma. Each release was laced with the lithe synth-based music that makes up his latest EP Underwaterfall.

The EP packs a lot into its 20 minutes, with a focus on sensation ("Burning Up", "Underwaterfall") and perception ("False Mirrors") that's driven by woozy, enveloping synths. Bearcubs channels the minimalist production values of Jamie xx and blends it with understated vocals that are evocative of James Blake. The EP's title track is a sinewy offering that snaps and bends like an elastic band, with glowing synths that create the soundtrack for the night bus - when you're bleary-eyed and halfway between euphoria and disorientation. Inspired by what it would be like to actually be underwater, "Underwaterfull" creates a sublime and immersive atmosphere.

"False Mirrors" is a cascading wave of synths infused with a pulsating electronic drum beat, that takes the best part of British '90s synth pop and repackages it with an artful modern sound, while closer "SL001" sees steel drums add a punchy flair to the mellow electronic sound. The song's drum-driven beat pins this meandering and experimental track together, and it exudes a comforting warmth which is particularly useful if you're nursing the hangover that's been brewing since you were on the night bus listening to "Underwaterfall". The tracks on this EP are sweet and inviting, and they easily create a gelatinous dreamscape for the listener to sink into.

7.5 / 10Aideen
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Leave a comment

All Points

2017

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Recent reviews

Astpai

True Capacity

7.5 / 10 Astpai - True Capacity album cover

Austrian touring machine Astpai are ready to release their sixth full length album unto the world. Astpai has held a low profile recently. Their previous album Burden Calls is from 2014. Ok, ...

La Armada

Anti-Colonial Vol. 1

7.3 / 10 La Armada  - Anti-Colonial Vol. 1 album cover
200 Words Or Less

I usually lean more melodic than heavy in my daily listening. But there’s a time and place for everything, and La Armada definitely hit that craving for pure vitriolic aggression. ...

Alice In Chains

Rainier Fog

8.3 / 10 Alice In Chains - Rainier Fog album cover

It’s been 12 years since Alice In Chains reactivated with vocalist William DuVall - making his time in the band roughly twice that of Layne Staley, but the shadow left ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.