It’s becoming ever increasingly hard in these uncertain times to show merits of true courage. Times are unsure and it’s human nature to default to the familiar, the straight and narrow – to the things we know will get the job done. It suffices to say then, that those few who step forward out of these lines before knowing where the other foot will fall are taking some of the biggest risks of all. But with the way the most recent release from live circuit veteran London Topaz effortlessly sticks the landing, you’d be hard-pressed to ever know.
Along for the ride come four minutes of all the usual London Topaz trappings, complete with signature house 4/4 rhythm sections, syncopated synth design and minor-key harmony. The track has a familiar ethereal atmosphere that keeps it on-brand for the wheelhouse of a producer that’s established an intimately experimental, although somewhat admittedly pop sort of niche.
Impressively then, that what is new on offer here is a slight heavy-handedness unprecedented by London Topaz and his previous iterations. With an unapologetically driving FM bass penetrating relatively utilitarian drum sequencing, the higher register here is tastefully reserved for some impressively tact brass, vocal ad-libs and wide-panned saw wave work and results in a combination that invokes less the slow burn of previous deep and progressive house inspirations in lieu of more deliberate and upfront dance motifs.
In conjunction with the thematically perfect synchronisation of vocal contributions by previous collaborator – the ever enamouring Blush’ko – ‘Drown’ is something reminiscent halfway-down of the collaboration of Australian dance legends The Presets and Golden Features ‘Raka’, but with lead work notably more in tune to the popularity of current melodic house and even techno staples. It’s with this sentiment that ‘Drown’ so effectively steps away from such established camps to venture forward through uncharted territories all of its own.