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Pangaea – Pangaea EP review

Artist: Pangaea
Title: Pangaea EP
Label: Hessle Audio
Genre: Dubstep/Grime
Format: 12″, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

Following the highly acclaimed and anthemic “Memories”, expectations have risen around Pangaea. Following a short interim period, Kevin McAuley’s return lives up to these heightened expectations and proves that the 24 year old has positioned himself nicely as the pioneer an emerging dubstep soul sound.

The Pangaea EP showcases McAuley’s refined approach to production as he parades a somewhat more high-brow sense of musicality than many of his dubstep counterparts. Throughout the six tracks, the EP maintains a fine gloss of quality through a meticulous and scientific-like fusion of his modern dub beats and his music heritage. Drawing on influences across D n’ B, garage, and house Pangaea’s sound is sensitive and often stripped but still keeps the raw asthetic that lays inbedded in dubstep.

From the rolling drums and ascending organ coupled with the female vocal hook of “Why” we move into McAuley’s aforementioned more sensitive side. “Sunset Yellow” is a more minimal, softer effort with hushed percussion and organs. “5-HPT” is the centre of the EP, where deep subbass and tough breaks emerge from a twisted and sinister intro. Grumbling synths, drums and an eerie vocal all collide to manifest in the rave-infested “Neurons” before the pitch shifting “Because Of You” closes the EP in beautiful style.

Despite its dancefloor moments, it’s the subtle undertones and intricate musicality that make this such an interesting EP. Much like his approach to his Hessle Audio label as a whole,  Pangaea’s EP evolves gradually, never forcing itself on the listener but totally engaging them nonetheless.

Review: Tom Jones