On his self titled EP, Halfnelson turns his hand to disco, funk and jazz influenced house music, resampling his own instrumentation to
create a sampleworld all his own.
Opening the EP with Feel Out, we’re welcomed into a fuzzed but buoyant sonicsphere, where downtown NY style house meets 70’s disco psychedelia, tied together with vocal snips from The Last Poets. Halfnelson runs his own guitar, bass and percussion lines back through the sampler to crunch them up and bring that classic sample-house feel to the record. Retroactive maybe, but it kicks off the EP with a track that hits square to the jaw.
The second track ‘Universal Mind’ builds from a sample of the voice of Bill Evans giving an educational talk about Jazz, swaying the record into a softer, early 90’s house style. Rhodes keys lead the melodic development while drum breaks and rolling synth bass carry the rhythm in a head bobbing, foot stepping boogie. We stay comfortably nestled in this sonic world for the last track of the A-side
‘I Am Not So Selfish’.
The record then changes tack opening up the B-side with ‘The Panther’, Halfnelson explores more smudged, roiling drum layers over a blissed out bedding of dreamy pads and sub bass. Highlights being added by digital flute melodies to create a balance of light and dark that leaves you floating, satisfied in a world that’s neither here or there.
Penultimate track ‘Eli Dub’ explores this drifting world with a deeper interest. Employing dubbed out rhythms and analog delays to ground the track in the ‘desk riding’ heritage of 'Studio 1' among others. Eastern influence shines through in the lilting, microtonal synth solos transporting us to a party far out in the baked desert, or in the vine covered columns of a lost empire.
The EP closes with the sustained and restrained low-key body mover ‘Dial Out’. The most quietly insisted track on the record, it slowly develops from a casual shuffle to a leg shaking dream house dust off. Implementing a vocal sample from a classic Aaron-Carl acappella. Once again feeding his own fingered bassline back through the sampler to sit it in the mix as if it were sampled off a classic 70’s boogie record, playing off the rolling drum shuffles and 4/4 kick to get your body moving.
Influenced by post-dubstep, lo-fi house, and trip-hop, 1five1’s sound draws from iconic outfits like Portishead, even as she completely pushes her own distinctive beats and textures into sophisticated spaces beyond those original inspirations. Bandcamp Album of the Day Dec 13, 2018