Hotflush Recordings is delighted to announce the arrival of a second full length from Sepalcure, the American duo made up of Travis “Machinedrum” Stewart and Praveen “Braille” Sharma. Arriving four and a half years since their acclaimed debut, 11 track album Folding Time is a singular and tender statement that lands in May 2016.
This special coming together of distinctive musical minds produced a much-loved, self-titled debut LP in 2011, plus six EPs between 2010 and 2013, all of which suggested a penchant for broken beats and bright melodics. Both have since furthered their accomplished solo careers – Braille released his debut solo album Mute Swan, while Machinedrum’s experimental exploration of Vapor City landed on Ninja Tune – that have kept them busy in the studio as well as on the road. As such, and owing to their insistence that any production work had to be done in person “since that results in a certain sound and experience you just can’t recreate remotely”, the new record took some time to come together.
The album, written over many bottles of whiskey, is made up of brand new music, but also tracks that have been worked on, forgotten, then revived over many years. Its title comes from the fact that, “it felt like we were connecting the present with the past. Going through each session was like digging through old memories.” Stylistically, of course, this pair have very different musical DNAs, but that means studio work cooks up many surprises along the way and results in an album that is awash with everything from field recordings to guitars and electric piano. It is a mix of playing and programming, has many multilayered tracks full of intimate and personal easter eggs and is, essentially, “two homies hanging out and having fun; a meeting of our minds.”
Right from the distant vocal mutters and blissful guitar licks of opener ‘Fight For Us’ featuring Rochelle Jordan there is a seductive r&b sensibility to proceedings. Tumbling drums and pained vocals have you in a love locked free-fall before ‘Not Gonna Make It’ gets to the point with Sepulcure’s trademark stuttering drums and fractured vox. ‘Devil Inside,’ featuring the pair’s long time friend and collaborator Angelica Bess, is future pop from a perfect world, ‘No Honey’ strips things back to a harmonic headspace of bumpy rubber kicks and percolating jungle percussion, then ‘Been So True’ shows a playful side, lovable sense of sampling and broken reggae rhythm. The second half of the album explores direct dance floor grooves on ‘Hearts in Danger’, snaking synths and reverb rich beats on ‘Loosen Up’ and deeper, more introspective moments on tracks like ‘Dub Of’ and ‘Brother Forest’ before closing down with a brace of blissfully melodic and dreamy excursions to a beach during sun down.
With plenty of well paced peaks and troughs along the way, as well as an underlying sense of humour and a very real human warmth, this is an album that works on both head and heel in equal measure.