sons-of-the-morningPeter Holslin speaks fluent Dothraki

Speak Soon Volume One may be the closest that experimental beat music gets to easy listening. A new EP featuring Prefuse 73 and Teebs—two celebrated producers from the headiest hinterlands of instrumental hip-hop, coming together here under the name Sons of the Morning. It offers 28 minutes of smeary synth sensations and barely perceptible beats, just the sort of stuff you’d want to listen to while daydreaming by the bedroom window on a rainy afternoon.

Prefuse and Teebs are both excellent beat-makers, but more than that, they’re conjurers of texture and vibe. On “Speak Soon,” it’s easy to imagine them as two kindly farmers tilling a vast field of grain, working slowly to draw as much as they can out of a patchwork of droning synths, twinkling guitars, sampled voices, gleaming bells and white noise. Everything on this EP moves at a leisurely pace, and while melodic elements are few and far between (plinking piano accents on “The Way That Wind Moves Pt. 1”; a submerged chord sequence in “A Dangerous Exploration of Bird Life”), it’s pleasurable enough to bask in the exquisite texture.

Aside from the occasional prominent bass-line or funky, non-quantized beat, the rhythms on Speak Soon are mostly subdued and soft to the touch—on “Sunday’s Buzzabout,” the duo goes so far as to use a resonant chime where a snare might go. Still, even though it’s mostly found in the backdrop, the EP has a definite pulse. In “The Way That Wind Moves Pt. 2,” grainy electronic vapors propel forward in a shoegaze-y motion, and they’re helped along by the most subdued of processed kicks.

Prefuse put Speak Soon out on his new label, Yellow Year, and the EP marks the first in a series of planned collaborations that he’ll be doing with fellow producers like Nosaj Thing, Lapalux and Dimlite. To anybody familiar with these names, the glitch-y, ethereal textures of Volume One should be more-or-less familiar. But that’s not to diminish their quality. This lovely EP may be a relatively brief listen, but if it drifted along on repeat for three hours, that’d be just fine.

Stream EP playlist link:

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