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Girl Unit – I.R.L review

Despite having a moniker which sounds like an all-female pop outfit from the 90s, you’ll be glad to hear that Girl Unit, is, in fact, nothing of the sort. A house aficionado of the highest calibre, the South London based producer blends elements of UK funky, 2-step, house, garage, Chicago juke and shades of dubstep with an iconoclastic irreverence for genre boundaries. Appearing on Bok-Bok and L-Vis 1990’s label, Night Slugs, the I.R.L EP marks the third release for the burgeoning young imprint, which was established earlier this year.

The EP – incidentally one of the most hotly tipped records around at the moment – begins with the title track. A dramatic, cinematic intro (rather reminiscent of D&B producer Rockwell’s “Noir”) initiates the proceedings with a thumping statement of intent and screechy, sliding synth embellishments. A hollow, clip-clop beat underpins the track, moving from dark, moody moments to more mellow, Mount Kimbie-style sections with masterful ease. DVA takes things down a tougher, rougher street with the tapping, grinding synthetics and raw industrial edge of his ‘Hi Emotions’ remix, whereas Young Gunz crew member, French Fries tunes in to a funky vibe, with shuffling rhythms, a nod to soca and lashings of sun-drenched tropical exoticism.

“Shade On”, the next track on the EP is a delicious, smouldering synth-led number, complete with slowly pulsating energy, and tapping, scattered drums. The gently rippling, chiming melody is complimented by snippets of hazy synths and moments mesmerizing atmospheric bliss. Rounding things off with perfectly articulated, sonorous piano keys, murmuring vocal snatches, fuzzy sonics and rumbling bass, ‘Temple Keys’ acts as the conclusive utterance from Girl Unit, on this absolutely outstanding EP.

Review: Belinda Rowse