Let's look at Deft's Bellyboy EP
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve come into contact with Deft’s music not too long ago, by ways of ‘Emeralds’. I, the musical layman that I was, was trying to get a decent footwork collection and after adding 'Emeralds', didn’t really delve too deep into Deft himself.
The 'Bellyboy EP' makes me feel like I’ve made a mistake; Deft has a lot of different sides to show. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Bellyboy Feat. BUCHANAN
Whilst Bellyboy opens with familiar, bloated bleeps, it sure is a unique beast. Some of its sound design is reminiscent of the likes of Commodo*, but Deft adds his own spice. Its percussion is peculiarly panned, and sports a very authentic, oldish, vibe. The track does seem to have a preference on panning the dynamic soundscapes to the left side of the spectrum; the use of space is appreciated. It’s no secret that I’m not so much into vocals in intricately designed electronic music.
I’ve been rewarded with an instrumental which is also on the EP, but in this particular case it wouldn’t have been absolutely necessary. BUCHANAN’s voice packs a punch, and the way his, in intensity rising, flow dances around the heavy wobbles and 808’s really works out. The second half of the track is where it truly shines though. All the elements that came before come together in a very heavy, dance worthy conclusion.
Rollon wants to do two things. It’s bright, lively and motivational. Deft’s clear cut, crystallised twinkles are magnificent, and they induce a very trance-like state upon me. Every now and again there’s a detuned, rougher synth break, which point to a deeper, unnerving layer to this track.
The bass sound is too warm and soft to be rough, but too edged and punchy to be mellow and sweet. A very nice balance between the two worlds. Rollon feels like a pastel-coloured border-post. I can’t help but wonder about the clouds that Deft must have been drifting in while producing this particular one.
Scope is a bit more traditional, composition wise. A flutey arp is the main handlebar for the first half of the tune, supported by a very fine, clear 808. When I first listened to this tune I was led astray by the smoothest of chords, panned solely to the sides.
Imagine my assent when I noticed that they would replace the aforementioned arp in the second half of the track, leaving me to float in melancholic thoughts, that silky and glossy ethos’ only these kinds of songs can do. It’s beautiful. Do you remember the moment after everything went to heck and you realised you’ve got to pull yourself together to face reality once more? Scope is that moment.
For Sudden VIP
Let’s start with stating that I tremendously prefer the VIP over the original. It feels more alive, engaged and dynamic as a whole. The fluidly progressing basslines hit just a tad harder, the hats seem a tad crisper, just as the eastern vibes retain their wholesome aesthetic. The VIP is a puzzle. When it needs to show you a part of the composition, it does, and it grants every sound its own place, whilst fitting it all together. I gotta state this: there’s no moment in the EP where you pull a disgusting face just because it’s so rough, and I find it very tough to point out specific, well defined sounds.
Deft is a master of creating experiences. Every track seemed way shorter than their actual run-time. I just get lost in these, and I’m sure many of you will do so too.
Compact. Clean. Punchy, although subtle. Done is easier to break down, soundwise. Its kick is very poppy. Its snare is very 'ploinky'. It’s hats are very swishy and the whole track pertains to a very oldskool vibe, whilst sounding very 2018. Impressive. Its airy chords are very Defty - I wouldn’t have recognised the track as being his otherwise. The whole track builds up to the 2:38 mark, where all of the previously introduced sounds make a return, with the kick and bass having a slight twist.