We shouldn't confuse the Vessel of “Standard EP” (and who, prior to that, appeared on the first reference from Throwing Snow label Left Blank, “Nylon Sunset EP”, and on several split singles via Astro:Dynamics) with the one who released two ambient albums on Expanding Records between 2002 and 2005. They are two different Vessels. The one we're talking about here is Sebastian Gainsborough, a Bristol native who's been active on the underground circuit as a member of the Young Echo collective - alongside El Kid and Khan (the latter has a few EPs out on Punch Drunk) - and who's at the forefront of the scene where weightless dub and arrhythmic house structures meet. His new 12”, in fact, shows his great skill on the field, and - until we hear more about the future release on Tri Angle Records announced earlier this year - is his most convincing effort to date.
Three tracks, concise and to the point. “Standard” is reminiscent of the spectral and uneven deep-house of Kassem Mosse, alongside the most recent MadTeo, on which the beats seem to dissolve in a cloud of smoke after a heavy fall. They carry a great weight, making it powerful stuff for the dance floor. But it's all wrapped in a turbid layer that hides even its most lucid moments (the funky bass line even Prince would kill for, articulating the track's unfolding, for instance). It gives the song that blurry, distant appearance that can also be heard on “Merge”. It sounds so interesting because it doesn't fit any of the clichés previously exploited on labels like Workshop and other unifiers of techno and dub. “Zero”, the two-minute conclusion, maximises the impression of being by the sea (Bristol, for example) at dawn, with a thick fog and a chill in your bones, hearing distant echoes of the rave you left half an hour ago, while the chemicals start to fade. Trippy stuff, great stuff.