Seb Wildblood – Grab the Wheel
Seb Wildblood has built a career as a producer off the back of a jazzy and blissed out brand of House, which he has refined through the numerous singles and EPs he has released over the past few years, while also acting as a purveyor of this sound through his Church label. Grab the Wheel sees him tackling broken beats (for the most part) from a similar angle.
'Leave it Open' the EPs opening track may just be the fastest in his entire discography, however the upped bpm does nothing to take away from its characteristically chilled ambience. Languid synths swirl around a driving Electro breakbeat, accompanied by the faintest whisper of a bass line. The interplay between track’s skittering percussion and its sparse melody is pleasingly effective, and the former of these sits far enough back into the mix that it is not at all jarring. A similar motif is carried over to the second track, which also somewhat hasty by Wildblood’s standards. 'Bad Space Habits' is a bit more primed for the dance-floor, possessing a punchier breakbeat, which rolls alongside a sentimental string progression and a pining, distant-sounding vocal sample. This is undoubtedly the cut that will enjoy the most club usage over the next few months.
For the title track the producer takes a break from… breaks, and returns to more familiar territory with a boisterous 4/4 House cut. 'Grab the Wheel's busy synths and playful mood set it apart from the tracks it accompanies, providing a diversion from the mellow tone established elsewhere. Such an inclusion makes perfect sense in the context of the EP as a whole, though I found myself the least drawn to it. While it stands apart on this release, its style lies much closer to the rest of Wildblood’s back catalogue, and it does not compare favourably to the best of his work. Fortunately 'Landing' caps off the listening experience on a high. Through it we are treated to a slowed down and more restrained take on the dreamy breaks heard elsewhere on the release. Clocking in at a brief three minutes, it plays out like an exitlude, and acts as a brief reminder of the EPs successes. Grab the Wheel offers a satisfying development on Wildblood’s sound, while maintaining all of the qualities that make his music so alluring, and leaves you wishing he could have kept it going for just a tune or two longer.