You’ll never get a Dugong Jr song that sounds the same. The producer always brings something unique and experimental to the table and his latest EP, ‘Polite’ is no exception.
The entire ‘Polite’ EP is enveloped with a darker aura. There’s a haunting undertone that’s prominent in some tracks, and hidden in others, but creates an atmosphere of intrigue and mystery in every melody.
‘Love Lost’ is a perfect example of the ghostly nature of the ‘Polite’ EP. Eerie percussion echoes behind Blush’ko’s airy vocals and buzzing synths slither beside a sharp beat. These elements create a smokey aura and allow a sharp beat and gritty guitars to add a bit of texture to the melody.
‘Amphibious’ is on the other end of the sound spectrum, feeling a lot lighter than ‘Love Lost’. Beautiful piano tones open the track before another sharp beat swoops in to support Jezzabell Doran’s gentle vocals. Soft atmospherics and bouncing samples dance within the melody and create a silky vision for this devilishly ethereal track.
Both ‘Ceramic’ and ‘Hieroglyphics (Solid Gold)’ have a strong R’n’B influence in their melodies, but also have an unmistakable energy, making the more ghostly elements of the production more subtle.
‘Ceramic’ utilises echoing percussion, light tambourines and a muted beat to help elevate the song’s deep groove. There’s still some darker elements present in the production, like IJALE’s warped vocals, but ‘Ceramic’ is still quite a fun track and one you definitely want to dance to. ‘Hieroglyphics (Solid Gold)’ on the other hand, compliments its groove with high-pitched atmospherics that weave themselves between the precise vocals and scattered percussion. There’s a power inside ‘Hieroglyphics (Solid Gold)’ but again, it still feels fun.
Now we’ve looked at the vocal-led tracks on ‘Polite’, we can get into the instrumentals which, honestly, make this EP so incredibly exciting!
‘A Polite Intro’ opens the EP and although it only runs for 30 seconds, its soulful melancholia is enough to draw you in. ‘Her Majesty (Interlude)’ sits in the middle of the EP and opens on a sweet image of pastel smoke, running water and sparkles with a technological glitch. This track is romantically technological. As we’re immersed in this soundscape, a sudden pause introduces a hard beat and a more experimental bounce to the track.
This carries us over to ‘Geisha’, which is an instrumental with strong garage roots. The fast-paced production sprints across quiet horns, twinkling samples, ghostly vocals and industrial samples. It’s so sharp and every element of the melody just hits so perfectly.
Finally, ‘Swan Song (Outro)’ closes ‘Polite’ with a mystical atmosphere, haunting synths, bright atmospherics and cinematic samples. Twinkling chimes add an extra bit of sweetness to the track and just as you feel enveloped in ‘Swan Song (Outro)’, it abruptly stops.
If there’s one thing Dugong Jr knows how to do, it’s carry a theme throughout a collection of tracks, while still flexing his musical muscles. ‘Polite’ has layers and really shows off Dugong Jr’s range as a producer. This is an EP that everyone should be paying attention to because although it has darker elements, the EP’s full of light and staggeringly gorgeous melodies.