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Royalty – Royalty EP review

Fledgling London imprint Five Easy Pieces drop a real statement of intent with their inaugural release – premiering the sounds of London duo Royalty, whose self titled EP channels the sonic energies of fellow capital thinkers Eglo along with the transatlantic beat connections of LA’s Brainfeeder and the boogie historics of Washington DC’s excellent Peoples Potential Unlimited imprint.

Formed of Elliot Yorke and Chesca, Royalty present five songs that expertly flip between their influences, bringing a future boogie flex across tempos which revolve around expert synth manipulation and heady beat patterns. There’s an obvious slickness to their production, but crucially Royalty like their sound rough.

The opening track “Twilight Fades” sound like James Pants on his excellent debut for Stones Throw getting shorn of his inherent nerd and slapped with some of the flagrant sex of Jimmy Edgar’s most recent output. “Royalty” is aptly titled, coming across as their signature track matching a heads down mid tempo beat with Detroit style pads, glacial chords and urgent synth work.

Tracks such as “Heat Ray” and “Don’t Break Me” demonstrate the ease with which Royalty can up the tempo too. The former is a real highlight here, with warm flourishes of analogue synths and a naggingly familiar vocal sample filling the space around a future boogie rhythm that’s dominated by a rasping snare.

Obviously Chesca’s time spent in LA playing at Low End Theory alongside Ice T lookalike Dam Funk and Flying Lotus has taught the Italian born crate digger a few things. Equally the Nuts To Soup parties and mixtapes she curated which spun expertly between Philly disco, 80s soul, bottom heavy funk and modern deep house movements clearly influences the Royalty production style. An auspicious debut from all involved.

Tony Poland