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Live Review: Shouse bring the atmosphere on ‘Into It’ EP

20 December 2018 | 10:49 am | Michael Stratford Hutch

Melbourne-based duo SHOUSE have surprise released a new EP titled Into It, a collection of four atmospheric, quite minimal house abstractions. Dropped with little fanfare, the EP shows off a new, more ambient and experimental direction for the duo of Jack Madin (of The Harpoons) and Ed Service (of IO), whose previous collaborations with the likes of HABITS, Martha Brown (aka Banoffee), Oscar Key Sung, and Marcus Whale (to name only a few) evoked feel-good, classic electronic dance music, reminiscent of early house.

EP opener ‘Into It’ is a slow-burning, nocturnal club track, developing from a lone kick drum and ambience, through layers of subtle percussion and vocals, to pulsing bass over its seven minutes, conjuring the haze of an early morning after-afterparty.

‘Lindt & Snowpeas’ continues the mood established by ‘Into It,’ centring on gorgeous arpeggiated synthesisers that morph and mutate throughout, atop a sparse yet effective 4/4 backdrop before things really kick into gear in the last quarter.

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Arpeggiated synths also feature prominently in ‘Won’t Let Nobody Hurt You,’ which makes effective use of a stuttering vocal sample synced with the kick drum, and while being the least energetic of the four on offer, is no less substantial.

Closer ‘Who’ll Carry The Flag’ emerges from a repeating, ascending figure, adds dreamy, sonorous vocals into the mix, and only builds from there. Shuffling hats and a prominent pulse eventually give way to an extended outro, drawing the EP to a satisfying conclusion.

Shouse’s weirdo underground live-house operation just keeps getting better and better, refining down to a core sensibility with each release that leaves the listener curious and keen for more. These tracks are intriguing in their liminality, deftly navigating the space between dancefloor fillers, DJ tools, and tracks for the cooldown. This is sensuous, developed work, that’s gratifying to listen to across a variety of contexts—get around it.

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