8/10 Ant Staff review, 14 March 2018
Manchester-based duo Space Afrika aka Josh Reidy and Joshua Inyang follow their tape and EP for Where To Now? with an album on their co-run, fledging label sferic. Essentially, this is immaculately stoned and pristinely produced dubwise ambient.
If the words “ambient” and “dub” in the same sentence have you concerned and conjure images of peakers with dreadlocks flapping around in 90s chill out rooms, sipping herbal tea and giving each other head massages, then fear not. This thing moves with all the urgency of a tranquillized ten-tonne slug on Mogadon, leaving glistening silvery synth trails ascending and hovering in the aether. It shares the DNA of both Detroit (i.e echospace) and Berlin dub techno in its molecular structure, and distant, broken fragments of UK bass music float around in these luxuriously spacious tracks. Think bits of the Chain Reaction and Scion Versions catalogues reduced, melted down and distilled into gently bubbling ambient pieces, emitting narcotic gaseous vapours as they dissolve. These tracks are stripped back, and deceptively minimal with occasional, economically deployed vocal samples enhancing the spectral quality.
I have to confess to being a little underwhelmed on first listen, but the next few times I cranked it up a couple of notches and let the subs really purr like a big cuddly pussycat blissed on catnip and got a lot more from it. Proper spaced out, sloth music that takes a somewhat darker turn on the final track, the aptly titled ‘dred’. Best consumed while horizontal.
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