Sydney producer Simon Mann, debuts on Brisbane-based label Buxton Records, with his latest EP Laying Low. Illustrating his affinity for dub-techno, Simon provides an intricate look into his ability to combine various elements and explore avenues of producing versatile techno. Opening his five-track EP with its leading number, “Laying Low,” Simon gently eases listeners into his collection with a track that is best suited for outdoor (festival) listening. He creates a sense of melancholic sparseness from the ringing cymbals and wavering synths, all of which are enhanced by the sonic environments of jungle. Introducing various drum elements and clapstick-like sounds, the track moves swiftly between being uptempo to somber within a few beats.
“Deeper Tension” gives first time listeners a clear introduction as to what Simon is all about. The track is a moody dub-techno piece with a deep bass and brash, dense elements that are looped and toiled; offering a ethereal soundscape. As the EPs second track, it shows off Simon’s aptitude for getting ideas to gel together – and at times, even sounding like two songs playing on top of one another! Moving into “False freedom,” which again, provides a different side to Simon’s production; the Sydney artist combines a delicate synth and pad work for a smooth club track. With a low-pitched vocal sample that keeps creeping into the mix throughout, the track gives off a smokey-4am-feel with its unequivocal groove that was missed earlier in the EP.
The owners of the Primary Colours label Echo Inspectors, take the EPs eponymous track inside a club with their Tessellated Reshape. Featuring a hazy, warped fusion of echoing percussion and entrancing pads, these components act as a signifier of what was to come in the ensuing minutes. The pair build on the original elements and drive the EP into clear dub-techno territory. Sydney’s Trinity, on the other hand, takes “Laying Low” into the ambient direction. Reverberating synths provide a backdrop for glitchy, pad work, before settling down to a serene closure.
Laying Low is out now on Buxton Records.