Thursday, May 10, 2012

kwes: meantime ep (warp)

This is Kwes’ first solo release since crossing over from Young Turks to Warp at the end of last year. I’m struggling to wrap my head around why they wanted him. Okay, so for a guy still in his mid-twenties, he keeps some pretty impressive company. Production work for Damon Albarn and Speech Debelle, official remixes for The xx, The Invisible, and the Portico Quartet, and a genuinely decent couple of mixtapes with Micachu, including original guest vocals from the likes of Ghostpoet and Dels. There’s even an endorsement from Matthew Herbert to the guy’s name.

But Kwes’ first solo outing, the No Need to Run EP, was both extremely meager, clocking in at only just over 10 minutes, and emphatically bland. “In and Out UK” was the only track worth returning to for a second listen. On Meantime, we get to hear Kwes’ vocals for the first time — quiet, subdued, sincere, yet somehow never quite soulful — but the effect is similarly underwhelming. Think SBTRKT, only wetter.

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