North London producers Gove “Sabre” Kidao and J “Stray” Fogel, who collectively work together as Ivy Lab, really like Bass. All forms. Drum “N” Bass, UK Garage, Dubstep, and Grime are the wells they creatively imbibe, which has garnered them great praise and acclaim or side-eye disbelief. It all depends on what end of the spectrum Future Beats tends to strikes your ear. On their new Stars EP, these two have fashioned a thunkberry slap, without drabness, that emotes seductively. The halftime tempo allows proper space for exploration. Claiming the project leans towards “a more peaceful, serene aesthetic” is a subtle underplay. This funk meanders about space. Take in the joyous rumble.
“Stars”, leads the four-song EP with slump tranquility by employing harpsichord samples and woodblock chop drum hits, which makes zero gravity existence, Bump. “Betty White”, which sees the duo work with Barclay Crenshaw FKA Claude Vonstroke of Dirtybird San Francisco fame and various other accomplishments, moves with a bass forward crabwise lurch. Like sand in your shorts from last weekend’s beach campout rave, it won’t leave your person. Crenshaw’s sense of “funk and melody” gives thundering swag to the composition, without overreaching.
We travel further across the nebula on “When I Go”, their most affecting demonstration to date. Vocals travel 200 years in 3 minutes and change, to get melted by wavy patterns and shifting chord dreams. Hand clapped tempos steadily creep across the space-time continuum. These tracks on “Stars” are NOT slow. Relatable is the choice. Unlike last year’s “Death Don’t Always Taste Good” the music here takes the time to wheeze and drone into flange synth soundscapes, while vocals thin out dense terrain.
Listen to Ivy Lab’s excellent new project Stars EP below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Released via 20/20 LDN Recordings.