After nearly three years since his last full body of work, as well as notching notable support slots with UK heavyweights Years & Years, Oscar Key Sung brings forth ‘No Disguise’ – a six track offering dabbling in the realms of RnB and dance that set the perfect podium for the captivating melodies which we’ve all come to know and love from Oscar to be displayed.
‘Simple Luv’ begins proceedings with a central focus on strings driving the charge straight out of the gates. Combining with a sharpness within the percussion, these elements set the stage for Oscar Key Sung to draw us in with sultry melodies full of character. As we build into the chorus, the shift in intensity within the percussion emphatically piercing through the mix coupling with a harmonised movement in the strings displays impressive production techniques utilised to transition into the pop styled chorus. It’s here we see the spirited emphasis come to fruition within both the infectious melody and the off-kilter percussion to round out the playful vibe throughout the piece.
This playfulness is accentuated even further as we move into ’25 Mins’, which is made evident within the multiple passages of keys that are splashed throughout the verses. The consistency in the upbeat momentum remains constant throughout the piece, retaining a faster paced influence within the percussion. What stands out within ’25 Mins’ is the utilisation of double vocals in the melodies of Oscar Key Sung, as they have been perfectly manipulated to not only reinforce the emotional context of the lyrics but to add a smoothness to the delivery without compromising on the core fabrics of Sung’s output.
‘Club Mate’ sees a start/stop technique being utilised in the instrumentation of the track, whereby strategical pauses are made to keep the listener on their toes throughout the duration. Furthermore, we see the implementation of a synthetic bass line hidden in the core of the track that does not wish to override the mix, rather play its part in achieving a groove in the overall feel. Oscar Key Sung brings ‘Club Mate’ to a momentary reprieve towards the middle of the track, whereby we see an enchanting display that is emphasised further through the utilisation of silky harmonies and subtle use of crisp harmonies.
The longest duration of ‘No Disguise’ lies within ‘Cobras & Snake’, which is the standout of the ep. The track begins with an atmospheric influence courtesy of the pads, combining with a percussion full of club influence that promptly delivers significant groove to the forefront. We then see a dynamic shift in direction into a more underground club momentum in the latter half of the track, made evident through the sparse delivery of vocals and the increased presence of bass empowering itself into the mix. The diversity in this track highlights an increased comfortability within OKS, through a matured approach utilising a broad range of techniques to make a truly resounding piece of music.
We see a movement into a more contemplative state of mind within the last two tracks of the ep – ‘Company’ & ‘No Disguise’. ‘Company’ sees a drawn back percussion, as well as a swooping nature within the ambient pads rising in and out of focus in the piece combining with the depth defying harmonies that create a resounding feeling throughout. In ‘No Disguise’, a haunting soundscape is achieved through the utilisation of sampled vocals floating around in the mix. This is further heightened in Sung’s melodies when the reverb has been applied carefully and highlighted when combined with the lowered melodies on display.
In ‘No Disguise’, it is safe to say that Oscar Key Sung has taken significant strides in the right direction. We see a diversity in the production of each individual track, full of significant depth that sets the scene for some emphatic vocal delivery that stands above the rest.