Album Review: Offshore / ‘Bake Haus’ (Big Dada)

★★★★☆

If it’s a mini-album sitting in the cradle of glitch, attention deficit surely must dominate. But after the coolly grandiose trap stylings of opener “Breeze,” Ewan Robertson lays it on the line that he’s not your average de-constructor of laptop beats. Humanizing the point and click nature of such electronica isn’t entirely accurate, but Offshore is not hiding round corners or behind 8-bit stencils for anyone, preferring to take on instrumentalism and bass architecture with a purposeful, empowering stride.

Yes there are moments of straggly interference, passing skits of wires getting too close to one another, Brainfeeder fandom (“Name Brand”) and ideas that get terminated when just about to bloom – seize the footwork urgency of “Lifes Too.” Links between tracks are bamboozling and difficult. However, the meat of the program is melodically determined, bearing interestingly different textures such as the slide guitars running through the suavely lazy “Black Bun” and rerouting the indigenous for “Venom.” If you’re thinking of glitch and RPG games going hand in hand/hand on holster, then head to the pixel-built slickness of “Slip”, but Offshore sounds like he’s going around real castles on “Downer” and “Long Now” with medieval gallantry and a genuine interest in history.

Offering much more than expected in a meager 30 minutes, and with a full-length LP targeting next year’s diaries, Offshore shows himself to be head chef in hip-hop’s bleeping boiler room.

File under: Lorn, Rustie, Daedelus

Matt Oliver