The latest release on Manual Music finds label boss Paul Hazendonk back in the spotlight with a brand new EP.
We last heard from the Dutch artist just last week when his remix of Andre Sobota ‘Futuramma’ was released on John Johnson’s 238W Inc., and was subsequently selected as a Must Hear track by Beatport. Original solo material from Paul has been scarce on his home imprint, if fact you have to go back to the release of his critically acclaimed ‘Adapt LP’ from April of 2014. Now more than two years later we see Paul return with the much anticipated two track EP ‘Spheksophobia’.
The release begins with the foreboding design of its title cut. Granular waves and sparse hits combine with quirkier tones and a broken cadence to form a menacing groove. From there on out it’s a methodical build with all the elements seemingly growing in intensity, ultimately leading the track into an emotive break. The sonic decay continues as layers of synths descend over the piece for a tastefully epic moment. It’s deep, engaging and surely one of Paul’s best tracks to date, a definite change from much of his previous production as well, there’s a rougher texture which I love and the character of the track stands out as a result.
The companion piece ‘Profound Shift Of Conceptual Awareness’ follows a similar design profile but for me comes in more subtle yet equally emotive. Electric, acid-like synths and glassy tones highlight a groovy first act while a smooth atmospheric sheen gradually fades into prominence. Tasteful chord changes lead the track into the break as the synths go through a twisty ride of modulation, ultimately igniting the third act as further emotive brilliance carries you to the conclusion. Two cutting edge productions from Paul which amounts to one of Manual Music’s most impressive releases of the year. Highly Recommended.