words by Tim Philippe

What So Not’s new EP is a declaration of independence. A booming tell-all where he announces he has arrived and there is no backward steps. This statement of intent is an exploration of the dance and vocal meld, with collaborators cherry-picked with precision.

What So Not’s (aka producer Emoh) sound has found another level on the ‘Divide and Conquer EP’ in its bold and explorative direction, while still feeding the thirsty horde with their decadent drops. From the outset we are blasted with bravado. The title track and first on the EP; ‘Divide and Conquer’ does just that. It divides us from the past and we are introduced to the future. An off-tilt banger is born. An anxious buzz pulses and constructs to an industrial synth funhouse. The track is confident and all skills are on show. This is evidence of just how far this producer has come.

From one end of the spectrum to the other ‘Lone’ is delicately fashioned with an intelligent design. A slow build provides feature, JOY; the time to work her sweet magic. Her tone manufactures goosebumps and with What So Not’s backdrop of swirling synths we hit a kaleidoscope climax of epic proportions.

The guests keep dropping by with excellent timing. Especially on the previously release single ‘Buried’, whereby What So Not is helped out by Rome Fortune and George Maple. A beautiful example of What So Not trip-beats pairing perfectly with the hip-hop scene (a wonderful video, for everyone playing at home). Kimbra also makes a surprising appearance in a grimey contemplative number ‘Montreal’ that has a drop so unexpected and delicious that must be saved for your Friday night dance-off.

All good things must come to an end and ‘Feel It’ closes out the EP with a driving dance number featuring Tunji at the helm. It is brightest star on the EP but signals to his fans he is still with them.

‘Divide and Conquer’ demonstrations What So Not’s fight and growth in the production and with this release he is not showing signs of stopping. If there was ever a shadow, What So Not has stepped into the light and we are paying attention.

Rating: ★★★★

Out now on Sweat It Out.

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