Unfair as it may be, the Brooklyn duo Sepalcure, consisting of Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma, are a fairly easy act to overlook. They touch on several genres ranging from house to garage to dubstep, but rather than try and conjure “the next big thing” in bass music, with their self-titled debut full-length the duo has carefully constructed a nocturnal listen that’s more of an amalgamation of their favorite aesthetics. It’s as though Stewart and Sharma plucked bits and pieces from these genres and constructed their own unique beast. As a result, everything on the record is easy to listen to, but nothing on it necessarily feels like a revelation. Even the album’s stunning closer, the Eno-esque “Outside” — despite being somewhat of a curveball — has a precedent.
Therein lies one of the core reasons why Sepalcure is so refreshing; in a world where emerging bass music artists are set on inventing some new style, Sepalcure is content to simply make great music using groundwork that’s already been laid. “Pencil Pimp” cycles through a handful of disparate vocal samples conjuring an engagingly hypnotic album highlight. Pitch shifting eerie samples has certainly become increasingly common post-Burial; that Sepalcure have the ability to pull it off with such finesse certainly helps distinguish them from their peers. Even a sample of The Who’s “See Me Feel Me” comes across as haunted and affecting.
Sepalcure often sound like students rather than visionaries, but they’re students who’ve been paying close attention and their all the better for it. From their carefully crafted beats to their production
prowess, the duo knows how to pull this sort of music off. From the echoing organs on “The One”, to letting “Outside” exist as an atmospheric, beatless piece, the album is packed with decisions made by a duo who knows their craft. So despite the fact that they may not bring anything remarkably new to the table, their powerful production work still deserves to be heard.
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Video: Sepalcure – “Pencil Pimp”