Mako: Do You Feel The Same?
Warm Communications

In a surprising move, Mako (aka Utopia head Stephen Redmore) opts for something other than thunderous belters on his latest Warm Communications outing. Oh, sure, hard-hitting moments do surface on the three-track EP, but for the most part Redmore presents a heretofore unheard side of the Mako persona, one more stylistically open-ended and less specifically wedded to drum'n'bass.

Having said that, “Do You Feel The Same” does most definitely riff on the signature Mako sound, with in this case tribal percussion clatter adding a heavy kick to the track's hammering groove and vocal sample (“I don't love you anymore”). What does surprise, however, is the mid-track interlude that sees the beats drop out and a swirling, synth-drenched episode take over. Not only that, but “All We Can Do” begins with tropical seaside sounds, of all things—hardly the kind of serene detail one would expect to encounter on a Mako production. If anything, the track sounds like something by Nuage more than Mako, given the speaking voices and sound textures that are so abundantly sprinkled across its insistent, bass-swarming pulse. Like “All We Can Do,” “Too Broke To Get It” takes the listener into unexpected territory, specifically a jazz-tinged funk realm whose lustrous swing again suggests Redmore's replicating Nuage's conscious decision to expand his project's vision into new stylistic realms.

One shouldn't perhaps read too much into a single release, and it's possible that the next Mako outing will see a return to the single-focused drum'n'bass style of Redmore's previous output. That said, it's hard not to hear Do You Feel The Same? as an expression of a wilful desire to broaden the Mako sound into new areas.

March 2015