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Gerry Read – Yeh Come Dance review

With one of the most rapidly expanding discographies in all of dance music, Gerry Read has taken all of 12 months to reach release number eight and there’s no sign of his workrate slowing any time soon. Having firmly found his groove with UK labels such as 2nd Drop and Fourth Wave (is there a link there?), this latest EP sees that further notch in his ascendancy as he gets snapped up by Dutch institution Delsin to kick off their new house-orientated series.

Stylistically, the four tracks on this new EP continue the mission statement Read has already laid out. There’s a claustrophobic quality to lead track “Yeh Come Dance”, that finds a cacophony of wooden percussion and angular vocal loops sweating all over each other while the hi-hats leer on drunkenly. It’s not pretty, but it’s seductive in that quintessential Gerry Read way.

As something of a contrast, the beat in “Crawlspace” is decidedly straight by these standards, letting the sequencing of the drum machine call more of the shots before too much wayward sample placing can send the rhythm askew. That leaves it to the strafing synths to provide the weirdness, although in this instance there’s a dishevelled nod to sunnier tones amidst the griminess.

It doesn’t take much to see the jazzy quality in Read’s music, but “Bozza” perhaps marks the first instance where this quality has been capitalised on and fully realised. In that sense it marks something of a progression for the young beatsmith, as the complex arrangement of brushed drums, piano and other sonic debris aim for a place other than that usual seedy corner of the dancefloor.

“Crooked” rounds off the EP with by distilling all these feelings into one track of strung out strangeness, where the groove is borrowed from garage and then robbed of its innocence, with an underlying bed of mean-spirited audio fragments. As with all the GR output it’s evocative stuff, and reminds you that this EP marks not just consistency but also progress for the plucky producer.

Oli Warwick