Having spent the past few years quietly building up a dedicated crowd of followers and dancers as a club night, Scenic Route step out for their first offering as a label with three expertly crafted club cuts from Desert Sound Colony, an artist whose pumping productions have provided some of the parties’ most memorable moments. Since his debut release in 2014 on New York’s Scissor & Thread, Desert Sound Colony (real name Liam Wachs) has been refining a deeply personal club sound with releases for the likes of Futureboogie, Me Me Me, his own Holding Hands imprint and most notably of late, Nick Höppner’s Touch From A Distance. In addition to his productions garnering support from the likes of Midland, Raresh, Andrew Weatherall and Lena Willikens, Wachs himself is also a highly sought after DJ whose skills have seen him land bookings at some of the world’s most well respected clubs and festivals, including two stints at Berlin’s Panorama Bar already this year.
His prowess as a DJ has undoubtedly informed the music featured on the Cartographer EP. All three tracks are primarily designed for club use yet their intricate arrangements and undulating instrumentation ensure they remain captivating, despite the effectiveness of their functionality. The EP’s opener, “The Cartographer”, is a sleazy machine-driven odyssey, continuously building and evolving until snapping back into its original groove with a vengeance. “Gypsy Moth” sees Wachs team up with fellow Holding Hands affiliate Guava (real name Bradley Hutchings) for a dangerously syncopated drum workout doused in warped agogo bells, spliced vocals and a two-note bassline with a distinctly London flavor. Rounding the release off is “Budapest”. The combined power of the track’s interlocking kick and bass provide a solid stage for Desert Sound Colony to unleash an eerie arp and pads combo alongside a flurry of stuttering percussion and twisted samples while intermittently sprinkled with an unintelligible and downright ominous pitched down voice.