Sage Caswell – Good to see you / To be continued

soowavey vinylThe opening bars of Luv, call in an EP that’s embedded in the ideology of the dance floor. A classic house beat, often in the presence of two extra kicks on the down beat, is padded with some fervent claps, giving the opening track on Good to see you / To be continued an energetic atmosphere that is meant to be appreciated in the presence of others. A four-chord movement in a major key ensures an uplifting harmonic structure that an ambiguous vocal sample validates in repeating the line: “Feeling Good”. Sage Caswell appears to be in the mindset of a west coast party for his outing on Archie Pelago. The dense textures are very much en vogue in the USA amongst artists like Bobby B and Ghosts on Tape, rejecting the minimalist constructions of the European set in favour for music that’s full of rich chords and heavy set percussive parts.

Obscured vocal samples play second fiddle to the terrorising rhythmical constructs around the beat. Amber gloss/ Making out keeps you on your toes as subtle a pad swell around the syncopated rhythms, before the standard 4/4 kick finds it way into the track. It highlights a care around the development that was first established on Luv and features throughout all the original tracks on the EP. It’s particularly well thought out on Amber Gloss. What first appears to be a Techno-like arrangement falls neatly into the House genre, while a simple twin-chord movement make up the essence of the track. The hi-hats and the rest of the rhythm section are peppered with reverb and distortion, giving the track a raw feel, which has been consistent throughout the EP. The dense texture opens up intermittently with just that modulating synth/pad enveloping its listener in a safe cocoon of incredible warmth.

The sounds Sage call on might be straight out of the House handbook for beginners, but he tends to put is own spin on it. On Whatever Forever a quivering electric piano plays a fast modulating chord that sounds like its been shaken loose by its neighbouring percussive parts. An ambiguous vocal made up from opportunistic editing points sound alien and familiar at the same time without either reverting to the known entity or the obscure experiment.

The ubiquitous remix comes via label magnates Archie Pelago as they put carnival spin on Buyerside. It’s not the best track on the album and it doesn’t fit too comfortably alongside the other tracks, which all feature a distinct voice, but it closes off an EP that’s embedded in the ideology of the dance floor, the only way it could, with a fun carnival-like House track that was made for the sake of the party.