UTAH? - OXYGEN (SMBL036)
Release Date: July 20, 2015
Coming from the North of England (Sheffield in particular), Utah? knows a thing or two about bass weight, especially in its most rugged, speed-addled state. Having grown up on bassline and garage compilations, it’s no surprise that the rising producer has a special affection for the low end of the spectrum, a quality that makes him a perfect fit for Kastle’s Symbols label. Set for a July 20 release date, the Oxygen EP marks Utah?’s arrival on the Los Angeles outlet, as well as the artist’s most expansive, full bodied release to date. A functional merger of the rave styles of his youth, the spartan quality of early grime and a tinge of American club sensibility, Oxygen’s six tracks are as privately immersive as they are engaging in the club. Which makes Utah?’s list of supporters, everyone from Wen to Flava D, all the more impressive, his tracks functioning at a multitude of environs and settings, shelling down the dance when necessary or, alternatively, carrying a listener through early morning public transport.
Having already appeared in the Symbols Singles Series, “Velocity” is the early standout single from Oxygen, a synth and pulse-driven grime track that recalls a more fun-loving take on the work set down in Visionist’s I’m Fine EP series. EP closers “Control” and “Graphite” take a more meditative approach, flexing Utah?’s melodic muscle in a manner that recalls the more abstract end of the Boxed spectrum, full of pathos and tear-jerking hooks. And despite its contextual flexibility, Oxygen is as coherent as they come, a Utah? effort from start to finish. With a unique sound and a bevvy of radio support, Utah? has already begun to infiltrate the dance music massive and Oxygen is well on its way to becoming a Summer smash.