On his debut EP, Once You Were Fire, LA-based producer Dylan Willoughby (known as Lost in Stars) collaborates with vocalists Alysa Lobo and Kid Moxie – a star in her own right after her 2014 solo album 1888 and work with Gaslamp Killer – on four tracks that mine the depths of experimental electronic music, house, UK dubstep, grime and synth-pop. Though self-released, Willoughby’s work has found an international audience via SoundCloud and has been championed by the tastemakers at KCRW.
The EP begins with two tributes, the first to an EDM hero and the next to Willoughby’s father. “Once You Were Fire,” dedicated to the memory of Hyperdub MC The Spaceape, features hard-hitting, deep grooves underneath Moxie’s haunting vocal: “Once you were fire but the fire’s gone / but does the fire ever die?” On “Elephant & Castle,” named for his father’s home in England, the producer commemorates his dad by interspersing a chopped-and-screwed reading of Dylan Thomas’ poetry with some airy vocalizations by Moxie over a steely beat. After this heaviness, the EP shifts from dark to light on “Disappear” and “Flown,” two bubbly, whirring, and dreamy synth-driven love songs on which Willoughby demonstrates his ability to build tracks around the catchy, upbeat hooks sung by Lobo.
“Four unique tracks without a single low point.”
RIYL: Jamie XX, Glass Candy, M83, Kode9, Four Tet, Caribou, Cut Copy, Royksopp, Gold Panda, Jon Hopkins, Ladytron
Recommended Tracks: PLAY ALL
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