Sepalcure are a duo of Brooklyn based Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma whose excellent Love Pressure EP announced their arrival into the murky not-quite-dubstep-but-very-bassy scene last year. Now they return with four new cuts on the consistently forward thinking Hotflush label unravelling hip-hop, dubstep and house and weaving them into new configurations.
Title track ‘Fleur’ is as floral as its name suggests with soulful R&B vocals, deep beats and dreamy strings which possibly owes a debt to Mount Kimbie – another duo who like combining guitars and off-kilter beats. The gentle melodies are more than just a decoration though; there might be plenty of style but it’s all backed up with substance. It’s the kind of experimental electronic music that sounds effortless but has a hidden complexity. Because of this it’s easy to imagine the tracks working well in clubs and at home.
Very often this rave meets R&B style can feel either overloaded or too empty but Sepalcure seem to have gotten the balance between ideas and space right. On the beat driven tracks there’s no clutter to distract from the hypnotic rhythms and even at their most atmospheric, tracks have snippets of vocals and other elements complimenting the drones.
In the past, the duo have been likened to a sedated Joy Orbison but the epic house workout ‘No Think’ might put an end to that. Following two fairly chilled out tracks it ups the tempo significantly and provides a WTF moment so many records lack. Twinkling notes, growling bass, tense kicks, and ghostly vocals all show up in this lush cracker that’s crying out to be played on a huge sound system at six in the morning.
It’s impressive how much they get out of just four songs. Even their final and shortest track ‘Inside’, featured in the movie Black Swan, is more than your run of the mill ambient outro. Full of static, bells and disconnected voices the track is simultaneously haunting and uplifting – a powerful conclusion to an ambitious EP.