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Blush (White Vinyl)


White vinyl. London-based record label Wisdom Teeth kicks off 2021 with something close to home: Blush, the playful, dynamic debut LP by label co-founder, Facta. Recorded unusually quickly over a short stint in early 2020, the record is the product of a period of refreshed and unfussy creativity. It's an innovative and distinctly contemporary album that moves a good few steps beyond the artist's work to date -- loosely rooted in UK dance music but taking added influence from ambient, modern classical, dreampop, Balearic, folk music, and beyond. The result is a lush, ornate record populated by aqueous pads, bleeping arps, wandering melodies, and sparse broken rhythms; acoustic instruments that play out alongside FM synths, all processed with a pristine UV sheen inherited from modern pop music. The record opens with "Sistine (Plucks)" -- a crystalline synth piece with a stumbling, shifting meter revolving around an odd-ended MIDI harp loop, colored through with washed-out pads, and snatches of found sound. This breezy mood follows through to "On Deck", where an FM vibraphone rings out on top of woozy, warping chords and a subby soca groove. Moving forward the record moves cohesively through a range of shifting moods and hues. The machine jazz of "Brushes" is tense and coiled, with nods towards Burnt Friedman, Photek, and Eli Keszler. "Iso Stream" sees a rich, colorful sprawl of arpeggiated synths and dissociated vocal chops unspool slowly to form pooling, low-lit melodies. Title track "Blush" is a forlorn Autonomic love song built from clicks-n-cuts -- like dBridge and Instra:mental reduced and reinterpreted by SND. Throughout, bold, broad melodies take centerstage, and the tracks build like compositions rather than loops or club tools. There are echoes of the dancefloor -- particularly in the slo-mo bruk of "Verge" and the glacial subs underpinning "Diving Birds" (a collaboration with friend and Trilogy Tapes regular Parris) -- however the end results find us somewhere far off. Blush is the second long-form release to come from Wisdom Teeth following K-LONE's 2020 debut album, Cape Cira. "Diving Birds" features Trilogy Tapes regular Parris.