Ugly Drums – Basement Workout


Fresh from his lovely album Saturn Memories, Ugly Drums aka Steffen Baldo has produced a warm and organic deep house record which does exactly what it says on the tin: a gentle drum workout, spread across four tracks.

The first A side leaves some dreamlike woodwind samples to dance in the foreground as bumping percussion chugs leisurely upfront. Coupled with an echoing, swirling vocal snippet, the track conjures an ethereal sort of soul.

‘Well Well’ is a muddier affair: hollow, conga percussion rattles amidst crowd noises, whilst murky bass pads forge a faintly forward-leaning momentum. ‘Don’t Let Life’ has the same darkened, smoky sound, initially evoking the woozy buzz of a late-night jazz club, before it kicks into gear in the latter half, all punchy snares and lurching bass.

For me, it is the final track, ‘Basement Workout’, which stands out. A truly rugged tribal groove is constructed from the very sparsest of elements: jazzy piano samples  litter a barren soundscape of droning bass and gently rolling drums.

An EP filled with effortless warmth; Baldo’s charming and unobtrusive sample-work lets the percussive grooves do the talking.

Fifty Fathoms Deep | November | vinyl

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