Fantastic Mr Fox Fantastic Mr FoxEvelyn EP
BLACK ACRE (ACRE021, 2x10” + digital)
Judging from the title it would seem that “Evelyn EP” is a record inspired by love. And not only the title, which looks like the start of a letter, but also the beautiful design of the vinyl, on double 10”, coloured in purple and black, with the image of a couple from the Blaxploitation era. When the first of the four cuts sounds, “Evelyn”, to be precise, the love seems to be more passionate and euphoric: during those concise three-and-a-half minutes, the always stealthy Fantastic Mr Fox, one of the delicate post-dubstep artists who, like Airhead, still operate in the shadow of James Blake, opts for a personal interpretation of 2step with luxurious and sometimes even lustful voices of that part of the London underground that could have conquered the world but never did. But on the following tracks he starts to slow down the tempo and Fantastic Mr Fox enters the realm of dubstep. “Fool Me” has the appearance and thickness that’s lacking on Mount Kimbie’s most recent releases, slowly grinding voices wrapped in a misty cellophane; and then there’s “Over”, which recovers the garage syncopation, the baroque counterpoint of high-pitched voices –a spectral kind of soul a la Burial or Blake– and firm bass lines. To finish it off he pulls the three minutes of “Sepia Song” out from his sleeve, where the thorough, microscopic treatment of garage sounds returns, bringing dubstep back to where it started, with the creations of the prodigious Horsepower Productions. “Evelyn” might not be about love –for a lover, friend, mother or daughter– but it is without a doubt a declaration of loyalty to the great aesthetic arch of underground post-rave. Thumbs up.