You step into a humongous room, filled with machinery with no discernible purpose. The ceiling, walls, and floor begin to hum, and the machines start to move in mystifying ways. You can’t help but stare at them, and steadily walk around the room to view each one. After some time, purple paint spews from one of the machines and forms a large blotch on the ground. Paint of every hue pours out of the frigid metal, creating an evolving canvas below you . . .
At its core, grime is a genre characterized by its sense of cavernous space, punctured by powerful, often mechanical impacts resembling monstrous machinery thrashing about in gigantic empty rooms. The melodies that do find their way into compositions tend to lean on the sparse side, and that’s precisely where this artist sets himself apart from the pack. Aviary is the newest release from London-based producer Paul Lynch as Slackk.
Lynch’s breed of grime music is startlingly unique, as it’s nimble and overflowing with fluid melodies. Present are traditional components of the genre — stomach-churning bass, fidgety rhythms accented with 808s — but they’re colored with charming palettes including flutes, horns, fluttery synths, and a fair amount of instrumentation from the Far East. It’s hard-hitting and tender in equal amounts, and captivating throughout.
In just six brief tracks Lynch disrupts the concept of grime, raising the bar to a whole new level when it comes to electronics-based songwriting. Aviary is the kind of record that perplexes, but does so in a way that keeps the listener hooked and in a constant state of awe. Initially it throws out heaps of fresh ideas, and many more are revealed with subsequent listens. If you’re seeking charming, melodic grime, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)