Totally missed it here but back in March, Edinburgh based Scot Kami Cullen and his Irish counterpart Pete Minn, the left field house producers behind Hi & Saberhägen released a new EP Light On Leaves. Among its four tracks is the fascinating opener ‘Loveless’, one of our track’s of the year thus far. It’s a meticulously constructed work of cerebral house which boasts a beguiling rhythm and is full of delicately layered synths, subtle effects and a mixture of vocal and field samples. While house at its core, it contains notable nods to ambient, minimal and techno music as well as taking inspiration from genre defying 80s Japanese avant garde pop.
Each element has been carefully woven together with delicate precision and an attention to understatement. This creates an immediately accessible surface sheen that belies what’s actually going on underneath. Seemingly constant, there’s actually two beat and percussion signatures sitting in friendly opposition to each other throughout and its their restlessness that strangely is the reason it feels constant. The way they come together in the track’s first 40 seconds sets the creative tone. Similarly while the key synth melodies hold the attention its actually the ambient strings and the glowing keys underneath that serve to create the track’s intoxicating and hypnotic aura. An aura magnified significantly by the inclusion of an emotive vocal sample from influential Japanese avant garde musician Jun Togawa.
While the other three tracks on Light On Leaves don’t possess the allure of ‘Loveless’, they’re more than worthy accompaniments. The EP itself represents a new chapter for both Cullen and Minn. It was the first music written since their move from Glasgow to Edinburgh and it was released through UK Producer Midland’s sub-label Intergraded. If you haven’t heard ‘Loveless’ yet you can do so below. The Light On Leaves EP is out now. Get it on digital and vinyl here.
Hi & Saberhägen (SCO/IRE)
From the EP, ‘Light On Leaves’, Intergraded.
Hi & Saberhägen Facebook