Eliphino EliphinoUndivided Whole EP
SOMETHINKSOUNDS (STSEP001, 12” + digital)
That thing that we once called “feminine pressure” is reactivated five seconds after this record starts to play. “You'll Know” can only be two things: a forgotten classic from the days of UK garage or a re-creation of that lost age of optimism and luxury projected towards the ears. It’s weird to hear this euphoric 2step in this time of economic austerity, wintery cold and wavering uncertainty about in the future, and that is exactly why this first 12” by Eliphino –alias of Tom Wrankmore, definitely one of debutants of the year– is so necessary. It’s a remedy for bad times. There’s not a single moment of dryness or unjustified aggression on this record. Apart from that, its friendliness isn’t forced nor fake: it’s the sound of someone genuinely in love with the old Ed Case and MJ Cole productions, and the four tracks of the single have the delicacy and elixir of passionate love that could also be heard on the anthems that are now ten years old, like “Sincere”. Wrankmore is sincere as well in his technique: he doesn’t hide one influence, he hasn’t stepped into the arena to compete with the vanity of the high-handed. He loves house, loves the female voice, and even when he cuts them up, he treats them with the utmost care: there’s never a vocal out of place, you can even hear them sigh. At the same time he leaves a trail of clues, like Hansel & Gretel’s breadcrumbs: on “L.F. (I Know)” he exercises his love for drum'n'bass, “Condensation” is his version of deep house, in the same way Joy Orbison has been doing lately (listen to “B.B.” if you don’t believe it) and “I Just Can't”, with more muscular bass lines, is his tribute to speed garage. So what new stuff does Eliphino contribute with all these shout outs to the past? He offers something important: the ability to turn hunches and feelings in true songs, in anthems that elevate the spirit and libido on the dancefloor. Its declaration of intent is clear: no darkness, no tension, not one long face. How could you ever resist?
Claude T. Hill