Debut EP on Exotic Pylon Records, released 28th January 2013 on 12″ vinyl and download.
“Observances marks an ambitious debut from Shape Worship — a richly emotive and textured EP, shot through with wistful melancholy and anchored by muscular beats. Garage and techno — the former, in particular — are the most obvious structural reference points, but Shape Worship also demonstrates an aptitude for dense cut-and-paste sampling, which often comes at surprisingly angular junctures.
The grip on melodic progression is startlingly assured — these six tracks unfold with an epic dramatic tension. Check “Quilt,” where shimmering pads give way to an all too brief oriental harp sample, perfectly placed feedback, and beefy subs. Fantastic stuff.
Elsewhere, “Air White Smoke Signal” offers darker vibes — discordant piano stabs offset against bruised percussion and masterfully skewed bass tones. Perhaps best of all is “Mzungu” — a low-lit epic that evokes images of dusky 19th-century opium dens with its oriental phrasing and all-enveloping subs. Fans of R&S, Apollo, 2009/10-era Hotflush and Frijsfo Beats will want to be checking this — a debut of adventurous promise.”
Harry Swords, Little White Earbuds
“What we have here is, at bottom, a work of contemporary IDM – and a very satisfying one too. On ‘Concentration’ what sounds like an old El-B/Ghost riddim slugged out and married to the kind of dreamy ambience you’d expect to find on a John Beltran record, while ‘Air White Smoke Signal’ is a terrifically effective meshing of dubbed-out post-punk minimalism and twinkling techno FX.
Stand-out offering ‘Mzungu’ sounds like an old Balil or B12 record re-tooled for dubstep-savvy soundboys.In the end though, what makes this album good isn’t the breadth or specificity of the reference points, but the elegance and intelligence with which they’re handled – Gillett balances grit and goo impressively throughout.”
“It’s tremendously difficult not to like Observances, so adroitly constructed is it, so pleasing are its constituent parts. As tropes, delicately pitch-shifted vocals and house- and garage-derived rhythmic templates have been worn down to the bone in recent years, but Gillett steers clear of cliché, finding subtle freshness at every turn.
Partly this is due to his skill as an arranger: each track is fleshy, a rich sensory experience, whether it’s a beatless interlude (the crepuscular “Seaglass”) or a more robust workout (“Air White Smoke Signal,” “Concentration”). But it also stems from a knack for marrying the synthetic—bold, pearlescent synth leads and arpeggios, ample sub-bass—with the organic, particularly samples of non-Western instruments.
Angus Finlayson, Resident Advisor
B1. Air White Smoke Signal
Written, recorded and produced by Ed Gillett, August 2011 – January 2012 in London and Chicago. Vocals on Lavender by Hannah Gillett & Isobel Cope
Mastering by Brian Pyle
Artwork and design by Kyle Gregg: http://www.kylegregg.co.uk/
A&R by jonny mugwump for Exotic Pylon: exoticpylon.com