The electronic underground is arguably as hot as any other scene in the world at the moment, and there might be no better example of what it has to offer than in noted recording artist Sp8ce Owl this June. Sp8ce Owl’s latest single, titled “The Underside Of Yesterday,” has the sensitivity of an instrumental pop single with the firm presence of something distinctly European, offering listeners a ‘best of both worlds’ not frequently found on either side of the Atlantic these days. Through a stately presentation of harmony and rhythm, “The Underside Of Yesterday” gives us a great glimpse into what this instrumentalist could become with the right direction; and, at the moment, I’d say his is a trajectory he needs to stick with creatively and professionally.
Sp8ce Owl isn’t in any kind of a hurry in this single but rather seems to enjoy the casual tension his arrangement renders in the foreground of the mix. Instead of pushing against the groove in the climax, he gets lost in the sharp hook and lets the drums nudge his movement forward. Even though this is a solo release, his relationship with the instrumental componentry in the background is as important to our realizing the mood of the narrative as his own words are, which is no small statement to make. He’s a sonic poet at heart, but his raw chemistry with whatever happens to be sharing the studio with him is undeniably part of the reason why he’s going to get a lot of love from the press and the public in the next few months.
Like a dam breaking open, the catharsis that comes flooding through both stereo channels in the fever pitch here is quite powerful and honestly reason enough to believe in the compositional strength Sp8ce Owl has right now. He’s still so fresh on the international scene in some regards, with this being the latest hit single to even bear his name in the byline, but he doesn’t sound like an artist that is still trying to figure out who he is and what he wants his career to be about. It takes a lot of players the better part of their first three albums to get as far as he’s come with this single alone, and in a short time, he’s going to have quite the worldwide profile to be proud of.
There’s more ground to be covered here, but it’s worth saying that Sp8ce Owl is going to be even bigger than his insular scene a lot sooner than some of his peers on the international level will. He’s got the potential to grow into this sound, and now it’s just a matter of avoiding the arrogance and ineloquent instrumental expressiveness that frequently befalls artists experiencing a rapid ascent into the headlines. I like his chances in the mainstream, and to some extent, I think he presents such a likable persona in “The Underside Of Yesterday” that it’s going to be hard keeping him out of the electronica circuit’s most elite class. He’s ready, and that’s not something I say about very many players still on the flipside in this genre.
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