The label says “featuring Aarya,” but you’d be forgiven for mistaking the digitized vocalist on Guido’s newest A-side “Beautiful Complication” for yet another sheet of synths layered into the mix. Taking Autotune&B to its logical conclusion, the Bristol Wunderkind’s blend of early experimental Timbaland, Rave music euphoria and Dubstep heaviness smoothes over any roughness inherent in the track. The results practically negate the lyrical drama: this is seduction music for the medicated generation with production so shiny it should come with it’s own Pen & Pixel cover and Hype Williams video. With so many producers retreating to predictable Garage rhythms when faced with the onslaught of filthy half-step tunes now dominating the scene, it’s encouraging to see the Bristol kids finding a third way forward, keeping the swinging heaviness but saturating the high end with musical neon and much needed femininity.
While “Beautiful Complication” recalls afternoons spent in front of late 90’s MTV approved “urban pop,” the B-Side “Chakra” points to stoned nights spent on the PS1. Opening with violins straight out of a Nobuo Uematsu composition before splitting the difference between blaring subbass, a mysterious vocal sample and a twinkling piano counter-melody, the track soundtracks a haunted forest just as readily as London’s urban jungle. And that may just be the most common link between Guido and his compatriots Gemmy and Joker: they’re just as inspired by the Adderall-riddled hyper-pop of their childhoods as the underlying dread of an urban adolescence in 21st century England.