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Fantastic Mr Fox – Evelyn review

Having sprung into our collective consciousness after releases on Black Acre and Hemlock only last year, Fantastic Mr Fox is back with his first release of 2010 – a double pack 10” on the aforementioned Bristol based imprint Black Acre. The Wolverhampton based producer, real name Stephen Gomburg, has caused quite a stir in recent months, having remixed Untold’s “Yukon”, Zed Bias’s “Two Sides” and also appeared on a split 12” with hotly tipped R&S signing Pariah. In addition to this the wily fox has also been collaborating with Jamie Smith from The xx and even toured with the band across the US in September this year. Now releasing the follow up to his Sketches EP, Fantastic Mr Fox brings us four fresh new cuts in his Evelyn EP.

Starting with the eponymous track of the EP, the gently thumping drum kicks and anxious squeaking which comes to define the intro are deftly chopped up Mount Kimbie-style with cooing vox and clacking woodblock beats. Not one to rest on his laurels, Fantastic Mr Fox develops these elements in the main part of the track, interspersing them with jiving rhythms and woozy, stabbing chords. Moving into the second track of the EP, “Fool Me” is a sombre affair with mournful and faint atmospherics woven around a lowly thudding b-line. Building the textures into a tapping, densely layered tune, it’s a stark contrast to the next track, “Over”, which is a more restrained, stripped back number. Stepping rhythms drag luxuriously over anguished vocals and that same dull throb of melancholia which the EP seems to be steeped in. “Sepia Song”, the final track of the EP, brings together all the sentiments explored elsewhere, with dribbling ripples of SFX, hollow clunking beats, swirling future garage sounds, all soaked in the sepia tones of the title. A formidable follow up to Sketches.

Belinda Rowse