It’s been a bit of a wait, but now the first release from Canadian producer Black Vise is finally here. With his involvement in the local underground music community in Vancouver, called “Groundwerk”, he’s slowly been building up his reputation, which didn’t go unnoticed by The YellowHeads, who have been hammering his tracks in their live sets and podcasts. A release was bound to follow and to kick off the first release on Reload Black FMLY, the fourth addition to their label imperium, they invited Black Vise to do the honors. The result is this four-tracker, which unveils the highly-anticipated track “Two Swords.[Worth]”, but the other tracks are also a promise of more great things to come. Watch out for this guy, for he’s got a lot to offer!
Opening track “Empty.[And.Self]” starts off with somber bass meanderings, but slowly picks up after the 1:40 mark when a short melodic hook is introduced. The tension increases as the track is layered with sharp, dissonant pads that quickly take over and drive the track home. It’s a powerful sequence that manages to instill a strong sense of despair and melancholy into the listener.
Next up is the remix from The YellowHeads, who stripped the track from some of its distinct features and gave it a somewhat lighter touch. The addition of reverberated effects and muffled vocal stabs transforms it into a refreshing techno cut that’s quite irresistible and also a little endearing.
The journey continues with “Two Swords.[Worth]”. On this track, Black Vise brings out an intriguing melodic arrangement, which is expressed through sweeping pads and emotional melodic blips. This main sequence is offset against driving rhythms and echoing sound effects, which proves to be a good balance. It’s hard to characterize the overall feeling of this track, for it’s a passionate mix of desire, sorrow and excitement. It’s an outstanding track that’s already one of my favorites of 2017!
Final track “Reduce.[To.You]” is dominated by a somewhat unusual percussion loop, which draws inspiration from genres such as breakbeat and drum’n’bass. After the 1:30 mark, the track dives into deeper territory when the droning atmospherics fuse together with a deep, rumbling bass sequence. While I’d describe the track as very captivating, it’s also somewhat monotone, which is a bit of a bummer.
Black Vise’s “Implications” EP is out now on Reload Black FMLY.