REVIEW: The Blessings – Galaxy High EP
The Blessings are part of the LuckyMe family in Glasgow, Scotland. Their debut EP, Galaxy High, is due to drop imminently on the Nod Navigators imprint of Dutch label Kindred Spirits. And guess what… it’s really rather good. With elements of Hudson Mohawke, Dimlite and Machine Drum to their sound, The Blessings – comprised of Dominic Flannigan and Martyn Flyn – offer up their own unique angle on the electronic beats scene.
Galaxy High is a delightful six-track EP that manages to stay away from the generic beats format and instead offer up something more in the way of ethereal soundscapes and fresh electronic ditties with a pinch of boom-bap.
01. Arisseee Henson
03. Moranis Riding Ants
04. Keith Sweats
06. Hot Song
The EP kicks off with Arisseee Henson, a track that initially gives the impression of being a delicate keys-led song. But, don’t be fooled or taken in by this trickery, it’s a heavy, heavy track with a nasty attitude! The bass-heavy steady beat, with the piano melody and slick synths over the top, makes for a bizarre, yet brilliant track. Ethereal, but hard hitting, the combination is wicked. Faberge is a progressive track that straddles the line between 80s electro/synths and tripped out electronic chaos, ala Daedelus. Once again though, the balance is just right. Whilst some of their influences might seem immediately apparent, what is genuinely satisfying is how relevant and well constructed the tracks are.
Moranis Riding Ants is slightly more laid back, but gently builds layer upon layer until we’re left with something resembling what the Avalanches could have sounded like today. A short interlude in the form of Keith Sweats provides, well, what is basically a humid breakdown of hypnotic electronic stabs and beats. Ibaseta, is the biggest hint yet on the EP that The Blessings have a lot of hip-hop in their style, just bubbling away under the surface. It starts steady enough, with that boom-bap style, then gradually moves up the gears until it lands in more upbeat head-nod territory. The last track on the EP is Hot Song, and it really has that vibe of being an outro track. Outlandish, yet almost reserved synths build steadily alongside vocal samples before a broken beat kicks in like a call to arms, yet it remains steady and reserved. Teasing bass hits rumble, whilst the synths continue – the track refrains from just letting rip, and at this stage that decision feels rather appropriate and the EP comes to a close.
This is a very good EP and definitely serves to put The Blessings well and truly on the musical radar. I’m still digesting the music, even now. I’m more than aware that it’s very good on many levels; production qualities are very high, the construction of the tracks is excellent, but there’s just something about the way they’ve amalgamated all these sounds and influences that still leaves me rather intrigued. It would be too easy to just say they sound like Hudson Mohawke, or a plethora of other artists of a similar ilk, but the reality is that they genuinely have carved their own space into this arena. It might take half a dozen listens to truly appreciate the brilliance of the Galaxy High EP, but the penny will most definitely drop sooner or later. Conundrums aside, it’s a wicked listen from the first time you hit play – but, you might also find it turns out to intrigue you as much as it does me!