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White Noise: Koreless – Lost in Tokyo

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Koreless – Lost in Tokyo

Label: Vase Forever

“I’m not fussed about people saying “Wow! Single of the year!” or making big hitters that everyone is playing for a week. I’d rather make a beautiful album,” Glasgow’s Koreless, aka Lewis Roberts, stated in an interview for Dummy last year. This preference, in beauty rather than disposable thrills, has been clear on his output so far, since the pretty punches of Away catapulted him into the spotlight last year through Gilles Peterson’s tastemaking radio show. After Peterson did Roberts the honour of comparing his talents to the likes of James Blake and Ramadanman, his stunning 4D / MTI single last year proved that there was much more to come, but since then all has been quiet on the Koreless front.

Lost In Tokyo has been floating around in mixes for the best part of the year, and is finally seeing release this week on Jacques Greene’s fresh Vase label. The two have quite a history of collaboration besides the similarities in their airy approach to Bass music; Koreless expertly remixed Greene’s The Look release and the two collaborated on Arrow earlier this year, the dreamy standout cut from Greene’s Concealer EP. Koreless has an individual sound that fits perfectly in today’s bass scene; the airiest of wordless female vocals and minimal synth blips chart pretty melodies which are contrasted dramatically with cavernous atmospherics such as in last year’s killer MTI.

Lost In Tokyo continues this approach, with sensual vocals and bleeping synths shifting in pitch before the sound is dramatically widened with deep ambient tones and the subtlest of percussive touches. Koreless’ music has never sounded as slow and melancholy, and the melodies and minimal structure are undeniably gorgeous. The track would function perfectly as a pretty bridge in a mix but doesn’t seem overtly aimed as a dancefloor killer, and while previously Koreless twinned detailed atmospherics with huge bass bounces and sharp snares, Lost In Tokyo feels a slightly confusing A-side just because it’s not hugely danceable. It’s beautiful and will please those who are already fans of Koreless’ sound, but it uses similar elements to previous tracks and doesn’t quite show Roberts as a producer stepping out of the box. On the other hand it’s respectable to see an artist who has no problems with his music being overtly pretty, given how many producers are currently turning to the darker edges of Techno and decaying House for their new releases.

If Lost In Tokyo isn’t too danceable, Jacques Greene more than rectifies this with a superb and stylish remix on the B-side which turns the track into a taut House workout. The dreamy vocals and cold clicks remain but Greene adds hard-nosed beats, twinkling synth arpeggios and a bouncing bassline which dives dramatically underwater before the no-nonsense second drop. It’s a classy remix, retaining the atmosphere and evocative qualities of the original while making it much more suitable for the dancefloor.

Although Lost In Tokyo doesn’t show Koreless taking any dramatic steps away from his established sound, it’s a gorgeous song that’s sure to please your eardrums, and the superlative Jacques Greene remix continues a long line of great collaborations between the two. If you like your bass music pretty and sensual, Koreless has always nailed it and Lost In Tokyo is no different.


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