We’ve been a bit quiet here at Skirmish the past while, as real life commitments have gotten in the way, it’s been getting harder and harder to find the time to write. However, when one of my favourite Irish producers drops his latest album (on my brand new label), time had to be found to post about it.
Out today, ‘Rough With The Smooth’ is the long awaited debut album from Irish producer Kevin Blake. In the making for the past decade, it’s a record that really took shape during lockdown as the Limerick native retreated to his Dublin studio as the pandemic forced everyone in doors.
Not stifled by genre’s, the 12 track release explores all aspects of the electronic music spectrum, taking in elements of hip hop, IDM, house and techno to name a few. It’s an album littered with airs of nostalgia and rushes of intensity – from debut single ‘Let Go’, with it’s uplifting and joyous synth to the more abstract drone inspired ‘Deep Cleanse’ and the unforgettable vocal sample of ‘Anything’, the album’s stand out track for me.
A must listen for any fans of labels such as Warp, Ninja Tune and Planet Mu. ‘Rough With The Smooth’ is much more than a collection of dancefloor songs, it is meticulously crafted and showcases the depth of Blake’s production skills, taking the listener on a woozy journey to the ends of electronic music and back. The result is a hopeful and celebratory record in direct response to the turbulent year just gone and the perfect soundtrack to a post lockdown world.
The album is the first release on my brand new label Throwin’ Shapes, something I’ve been keen to do for a while now, and over the moon that this is the first release from it.
Rough with the Smooth is out today and can be picked up from Bandcamp now on Digital for €7.99 or €12.99 Limited Edition on c60 Jelly Yellow Cassette.