Mumdance - Springtime EP | Album Review | By Volume

What is this life, why do we strive? Fast on a wheel, too fast to feel. One day, my love, this life will slow. Sam Brookes - One Day
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Mumdance

Springtime EP

Sharp and pummeling, but sadly just a quick glimpse.

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Author: on February 11, 2014
7.9
Unknown To The Unknown

“Part of nothing” – Mumdance is introduced as such, though it’s anyone’s guess who Jack Adams is trying to convince more: us, or himself. “Between scenes” and “moving in different circles” are truer, as Adams resurfaced last summer with a mixtape that would seemingly shed the skin of his previous production for Mad Decent. Also releasing on imprints from No Hats No Hoods to Keysound and Tectonic, he seems happy to keep things moving, yet at the same time his actions contradict this. While it seems apt the Springtime EP would arrive February, its two tracks (that clock in at a cumulative 11 minutes) both appeared on that Twists and Turns mixtape eight months prior. Of course, carried by Unknown To The Unknown, it’s likely Springtime might’ve been put out on the impulsive whim of label head DJ Haus. However it’s still a considerable amount of time especially when Adams’ last EP came from the mixtape too. Adams might consider himself apart from any alignment but unlike Twists and Turns, Springtime has been released into a resurgent instrumental scene where Murlo has been running riot, MssingNo has turned heads 360-degrees, partner-in-grime Logos has dropped a full-length, and all these achievements haven’t slipped radars. In spite of all this apprehension, Adams makes it work.

“Springtime” sounds like Rustie drunkenly flirting with breakbeat, though it only teeters on the border of riot, having the self-awareness to not get carried away into that chiptune nomansland. The synth couldn’t be much looser, zipping all around the track like an infant with a sugar-rush, swaying and staggering over a beat that would sound sinister alone but loses its venom in all the madness. The breakdown is everything you’d want it to be and a little bit more as Adams lets the synth unwind, whirring unhinged, before a colourful eruption reveals how sparse the track had actually been for the most part. If “It’s Peak” is a child, it’s the playground bully, the type that sends Boddika’s “Mercy VIP” to the teachers in tears. Much more of a rude awakening than “Springtime”, its kicks pulsate with the intent of a tribal ritual out in the wild where nature’s ambience of flowing rivers sounds like vinyl crackle. The percussion is sharp and pummels you into movement, and the hard-hitting combo disorientates. Think Jam City with all the chrome coated in rubber.

When Twists and Turns dropped, it left behind ambivalence, and Adams’ collaborations with Logos and Pinch would outshine his solo work. In hindsight, perhaps Twists and Turns’ legacy is one that helped shape — or even distil — the direction of the grime it foreshadowed, setting the stage for these releases. Certainly, fully fleshing out the tracks on the Springtime EP has made all the difference as far as Adams’ solo work goes and it’s as if the record is arriving at just the right time. Still, with “It’s Peak” the stronger of a mere two tracks that are by no means unfamiliar, the EP feels like just a taster of things yet to come.

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