Pariah – Safehouses EP

When Pariah’s first R&S release Detroit Falls / Orpheus surfaced April 2010 it clearly demonstrated the producer’s promising talent. Interviews suggest he assumes a nonchalant approach to production, yet his output is far from thoughtless. With Safehouses, Pariah delivers a crisp selection of tracks with a refined clarity to match the best releases of 2010 so far.

The first track, The Slump, joins the dots between early Chicago house, such a Phutures Acid Tracks and Juan Atkinss Cybotrons Clear, through to Burials atmospheric vocals underpinned by deadly tropical riddims. If Burial, Atkins and a tropical beat met in London’s darkest streets, this would be the output. I dont want you to assume Pariah has thought Ill just go there and diluted the classics, hes taking us somewhere else with this. This is evolution.

Prism is the apogee of the EP, pairing a killer acid bassline with a swung bass kick that just won’t let go. A heartbreaking garage vocal creeps in to epitomise Pariah’s character just as the sub-bass comes subtly rolling in underneath to tear at the soul.

Railroad interprets UK garage with rich, dubbed-out bass and haunting vocals. It wears its Burial influence a little more on its sleeve but is by no means a mere imitation. Pariah still unleashes his own vision, with a glistening synthline and brief but welcome cut of the enduring amen beat delivering us an arresting track. Crossed-Out is the most straight-up garage tip of the EP, with the slow organ chords and cut-up RnB vocals that sound familiar from Pariah’s contemporaries. Its a great track, but against the depth of the rest of the EP it feels a little easy.

C-beams brings us down with a low slung Dilla / Fly-Lo instrumental hip-hop excursion while maintaing Pariah’s imprint. The EP then channels us into the void with the stunning ambient title track, a lush drift though cosmic infinity, like a four minute trip on N2O.

I cant emphasise enough how much you need this release in your life.

By Joaqun Madcap Hawton