EP2 is the second installation in the EP trilogy by ALSO, and is only two tracks long. The sparse tracklist is narrative-like; the beats progress with the ebbs and flows of a story, coming to climaxes at different points. The EP is a quirky nod to Detroit house, sharing similar sounds and melodies with the genre, but with a reimagined foundation. While the project is strong, it lacks the same luster as other house/ambient electronic artists. If the tracks were to play at a party, they’d be danceable and suit the environment, but if they were to come up on shuffle while commuting to work, they’d likely get skipped. Despite an initial draw, the EP struggles to hold attention.
ALSO is composed of the duo Appleblim (Laurie Osbourne) and Second Storey (Alec Storey), who are both electronic artists with similar sounds. The EP is not too far off from each artist’s usual creative endeavors. The first track “Formation” takes a more ambient approach. In contrast, the second “Rant Check: Pts. 1 & 2″ throbs with a more uptempo rhythm.
“Formation” introduces itself with echoing dribbles that instantly entrance the listener. The track is mellow and smooth before shifting to a more percussive pulse.
Eventually the song finds a happy-medium between the two ideas within the track—the ambient and ephemeral versus the edgier counterpart.
“Rant Check: Pts 1 & 2″ has a more pop-sensible feel than the previous track on the EP. There are moments where one might expect a drop in the beat a la big room house, but it never comes. Part of the appeal of the second track is that it builds in a way that parallels more mainstream electronic music, yet the duo keeps the beat controlled. Eventually the track does get to fuller glitchier sounds, but never with the harsh gearshift that we have learned to expect from house-like tracks. “Rant Check” also has a darker yet danceable quality like that of artists Jon Hopkins or Moderat.
The two songs on the EP complement each other, even as they veer in different directions. One can find the common threads between the two, particularly within the beat’s structures. Despite a distinct cohesion, the tracks stand strong on their own.
However, after spending eight minutes listening to “Formation,” or twelve for “Rant Check,” they are not memorable. Once the track is over it is difficult to fully recall what was just heard. The album doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Perhaps this is because it is the second in the series. Not having heard the final installment yet, maybe this opinion will change and the entire three-part project will leave a new mark of its own.
ALSO’s EP2 is an interesting listen, particularly for those who like beats that meander through darker melodies. But the album doesn’t feel fully formed, even in relation to the first EP in the series. Even though it felt this way, it is a unique project that provokes curiosity about what future collaborations between Appleblim and Second Storey may sound like once they figure out what exactly ALSO is a little better.
ALSO – EP2 tracklist:
- “Rant Check Pts. 1 & 2″