Published Oct 04, 2018UK-based brothers Tom and Ed Russell, better known as Truss and Tessela, have long flown the flag of hard-hitting dance floor tools with a rougher edge. Although the bulk of their music has been released separately through their own personal projects, recently they've found a common outlet with Overmono. Debuting on XL, home to many a '90s rave anthem, Overmono's Arla I was a throwback to the electronic music of yesteryear, but in a way that felt fresh and exciting. Now, a few releases on, Overmono debuts on Poly Kicks with Raft Living.
What's immediately clear is the duo's sensitivity for nostalgic moments with a dance floor edge. This alone wouldn't normally be a massive surprise, given the current electronic music milieu, but few understand the nuances of the sound better than Truss and Tessela. "Daisy Chain," the first of a lean three tracks, is the heaviest. Thick kick drums meld with the main breakbeat, leaving some space for a melody that winds its way into the track at the halfway point, lingering just before the satisfying downbeat.
"The Mabe," however, is primed for euphoria of the highest order. Rife with the dance floor inertia that the Russell brothers are known for, the track carries its emotional grandeur with the poise of a Selected Ambient Works II-era Richard D. James. Arriving at the breakdown, the shimmering stabs of sound are the stars of the show, eventually leading to a satisfying resolve. "Raft Living" concludes the EP with a sequenced synthesizer jam with sentiment and grace.
If there could be a complaint with Raft Living, it would be that the material does not bewitch as in their most left-field arrangements (such as in the Arla EPs). Production trickery is still a mainstay, and is sure to delight the more keen listeners. In effect, Raft Living is an idyllic distillation of Overmono's sound, and its constituents will surely find their place in a number of set lists before the year is out. (Poly Kicks)