I’m starting to think there’s almost nothing Maxwell Byrne cannot do musically. The producer already creates blissful melodies as Golden Vessel, but has now developed a new side project called 1tbsp where he’s able to explore new avenues of production.
1tbsp is a project Byrne started whilst in Europe in 2019 and over time, he’s built a collection of house tracks that showcase just how versatile his musical ability is. After years of refining, the 1tbsp debut EP ‘kanashī’ is ready for the world to hear and it’s truly something special. There are only four songs on ‘kanashī’, but every one of them is so sharp and so intricate, that four is really all you need.
‘Calico’ opens the EP with light percussion tapping on top of muted synths. It’s a very airy track and feels like you’re exploring a vibrant pastel world with flashes of light bringing the clouds to life. Echoing vocals flash throughout the track on top of a steady beat, which is tough, but not overpowering. ‘Calico’ is very balanced and both the light and dark elements are connected with such precision that the melody just seems to fall into place perfectly.
‘I Know I Get’ has a more playful atmosphere thanks to the chopped vocals that open the track. Add slapping percussion and a deep beat into the mix, you have something that’s full of life and feels so welcoming. This track has the feeling of friends running amok during either dusk or dawn. Really, just one of those times where the world’s quiet and you just feel free. The house accents drizzled across the solid atmospherics just give ‘I Know I Get’ so much power in the most subtle way. It’s got so much vitality, whilst still feeling dreamy.
The EP ventures into darker territory on ‘In Europe, Kinda Sad’. The track’s swirling synths and warped samples give the production depth and also inject a kind of, hollow feeling. Light tones twinkle beneath harder bounces and the layering of these accents gives ‘In Europe, Kinda Sad’ a lot of texture. There’s a lot happening in this track, although it has more of a moody atmosphere. The light snares lift the song up from the doldrums and like on ‘Calico’, everything feels balanced.
The EP closes with its title track, ‘kanashī’, a piece that’s instantly infectious. Warped synths guide gentle atmospherics into the mix and early on, you get the feeling ‘kanashī’ is going to be a deep club track. Although it has club elements, the melody surprises you and takes you in a completely different direction when the ghostly vocals appear and float above the solid beat and popping accents. ‘kanashī’ is quite surreal as it blends the vocals with light chimes and muted snares. There are so many elements that shouldn’t work together that just do and it’s really fun to hear.
Maxwell Byrne has a lot of talent, that’s just a fact. It doesn’t seem to matter what genre he’s exploring with his music, he’s just somehow able to develop something that feels so comfortable to the ear by masterfully putting together a gorgeous melody. 1tbsp’s debut EP is a real treat and just another great example of Byrne’s incredible work.