Card on Spokes knows his way around your emotions. He may not know you personally, but he has always had the uncanny ability to make music which feels nostalgic from the very first time you hear it. Just listen to the lead synth line to ‘Goldshine‘ of off his Lead Me to the Water EP for an illustration.
This sensibility has been the constant in his production style, which has picked up and dropped influences numerous times in the years he’s been operating in – and is on full display on his latest record, As We Surface, released today.
Completing the trilogy of aqua-submersion-based EPs (following 2011’s In You Go and Lead Me To The Water) – As We Surface finds Spokes continuing his exploration in collaborative production and finding a sweet spot between his electronic and jazz-based output. Frequent collaborator Bonj Mpanza is joined on the project by Siya Makuzeni and Marcus Wyatt, who altogether add to two of the EP’s 6 songs.
The remainder of the songs feature everything from contemporary influences like footwork (even a little trap) to children’s choirs and live drums. The biggest victory of this collage-like approach might be the moments with live horn instruments being featured without ever sounding like ‘Jazz – but now with extra beats!’
Spokes pushed his artistry into new territory by also creating the gorgeous EP artwork himself.
In the ever-more fractured world of “beat music” as a sub-genre of electronic music in general, it’s amazing to follow as an artist slowly but assuredly marks out their territory on the continuum. For Spokes this territory is unashamedly affected, feeling music that is unashamedly danceable, sodo yourself a favour and celebrate the launch at Kitcheners in Johannesburg this Saturday and at LBs in Cape Town next week.
The EP is available from iTunes (and for only R30).