Ears Have Eyes will release the third edition of their ‘Throng Of Orbs’ compilation series this month. Featuring tracks from Elles & Violet, Chocky, Contours and Replete, the EP is a four-track selection of sophisticated and sharp house from a versatile range artists.
Like the percussive minimalism of Elles & Violet’s ‘YRNYB’ and the distorted, lo-fi rattles of Dublin producer Replete’s ‘Ireti’, Contours’ ‘Dither’– premiering below – is made with a sparing, but tasteful sensibility, making it a track that never feels too busy but which feels satisfying throughout.
“Dither is built upon these dubbed out bongo recordings I made alongside some programmed drums and a sample of Max Roach talking about where the different elements of the drum kit emerged from,” Contours – real name Tom Burford – tells DJ Mag. “I started experimenting with different arpeggiated acid lines that could bubble in and out of the noise of the track and after a few different versions, this was the result that stuck. Kind of an eyes down track that then ends up developing into a bit of a stomper in the second half!”
Burford’s fascination with percussion, particularly the styles of East Africa, have been prominent in his releases over the past few years on labels like Shall Not Fade and Rhythm Section. That fascination grew even further after an educational trip last year...
“I spent five months of the last year in East Africa, mainly Uganda,” he remembers. “It kicked off playing at Nyege Nyege festival, then myself and Cervo spent some time at the Boutiq studios in Kampala creating an album alongside Ugandan percussion troupe, the Fonkodelis Arkestra and a number of other traditional instrumentalists. We met some incredible musicians out there, and it had a really vibrant sense of community which was amazing.”
“Apart from that I spent some time gigging in Japan,” he adds. “And was able to link up with some quality musicians there including Yuji Namika aka Nubo, who runs an ace little label in Tokyo called UGFY. I'd never been to Japan before and just got completely lost in the endless record digging opportunities!”
With more releases in the pipeline, including the Kawuku Sound album recorded during his and Cervo’s time in East Africa and another one with his NTS co-host Yadava, Contours’ schedule is pretty busy.
Ears Have Eyes will be hosting Contours on 19th October in Peckhams’s The Four Quarters. You can get tickets for that here.
Pre-order 'Throng Of Orbs Vol. 3' here.