Maribou State – Truths EP

Maribou State have easily been one of the most impressive production teams of the last year. Releasing two EPs and some of the year’s most critically acclaimed remixes, the duo have managed to make themselves mainstays of the UK dance scene in a very limited amount of time. As far as genres go, they’ve never quite fit the mold of UK bass, which they’re often pigeonholed into; in fact, they make it rather difficult to categorize themselves amongst the seemingly endless number of genres dominating the electronic music realm. They sit comfortably in between, often using a contrast between electronic and acoustic textures to form breathtaking soundscapes that still maintain a steady groove.

The Truths EP is comprised of four tracks that follow this year’s Tongue EP very closely. The tunes are relatively laid back feeling with jazzy chords and soulful vocals throughout. The EP feels distinctly nocturnal and sounds like the duo took months to create each individual sound. It has an eerily dark and almost southern atmosphere throughout while managing to simultaneously be both beautiful and a a little creepy.

“Blue Moon” begins the EP. Huge bass swells fill the low end while vocal samples fade in and out, echoing over scattered chimes and percussion.”Hollow Grove” moves and stutters to several stops as Nubiya Brand’s voice floats through a forest of chiming synths and pianos. “Moon Circles” carries on the same path, even using the same synths to create a jazz colored dreamscape. “Truths” is both the closing track and lead single. It features vocalist Jimi Nixir whose vocal talents are mirrored against themselves à la distortions and echoes as the music swarms around them. All of the songs share similar textures and as a result feel interrelated. The only downside to this is that it makes it a bit difficult to distinguish one track from the next.

It’s interesting to see Maribou State continue down this path, but it ultimately makes sense as this is very much becoming the sound they’re known for. Long gone is most of the garage influence that was present in their earlier catalog as the group now seem more focused on constructing grand, atmospheric works. The forthcoming debut LP on the horizon should definitely appease fans, yet, if Truths is any indication, the album likely does not hold too many surprises in store.