Socks and Sandals: Shatter

Having made an auspicious vinyl debut with “Lover” on Macrofun Vol. 2, Socks and Sandals (NYC's Sean Smith and Clark ov Saturn) step out again with the superb EP Shatter. Weaving together a gently rocking shuffle, cowbell clatter, and voice croaks, the title cut succinctly distills the Microcosm (and foundsound) aesthetic into a singular, six-minute piece. But after it's rolling, one element in particular emerges that distinguishes the duo's style: a heavy bottom-end, specifically a slithering bass sound that scours the depths like a ravenous shark cruising the ocean floor. A similarly throbbing bass drives the jacking, almost tribal house groove of “Lacky the Liger” with its pounding kick drum joined by grimy slams and an enticing voice hook. On the flip side, bleepy smears drape over thrumming clicks and bass rumble in “Found in Space” until guitar plucks unexpectedly appear, transporting the tune into a panoramic expanse of reverberant placidity, while crackling bursts and breathy exhalations pepper the clanking bump of “Peerless.” Minimal yet sonically rich and nuanced too, the infectiously grooving Shatter initiates Microcosm's 2006 release schedule in fine style (and the lush full-colour sleeve doesn't hurt either).

February 2006