Release Date: May 1, 2012
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Electronic, R&B, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative R&B
The London-based singer/producer Kwes has the kind of personality you used to find all the time in old-school R&B but that you rarely find now: courtly, tender, sensitive, self-effacing, romantic. "I'm so bashful," he sings over a song named for the shy emotion, right before he actually offers the girl in question a cream soda. He's not a twee, toe-digging type, however: His presence and his voice are clear, calm, disarming.
Kwes.Meantime EP[Warp; 2012]By Josh Becker; May 7, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGSinger/producer Kwes. (note the period) is British, though you won't need me to tell you that after hearing him sing for even a few moments. His accent shines through his dulcet vocals, giving them a charming, plaintive quality that belies his young age (24).
Kwes’s Meantime EP is a perfect soundtrack for the first sunny days of spring. The thick layers of delay and reverb that cloud these electronic soul compositions hold on like the lingering rains of winter, but all that murk can’t quite drown out the sunshine of the laid back vocal melodies, and the resilient message of hope and positivity that these songs convey. Meantime may be Kwes’s first foray into writing and performing his own tunes, but at 24 years old, the London-based producer has already worked with a range of notable artists including Speech Debelle, the xx, and Damon Albarn.
From SBTRKT to Jai Paul, the UK boasts a remarkable array of producers making twisted robotic soul which combines a love of US R&B with a very British affection for warped electronics. Kwes, a London producer who’s worked with everyone from The xx to Damon Albarn, is the latest in this starry line. ‘Meantime’ is his debut for Warp, and is more of a bookmark than a landmark release.
Slowly building up to the release of a full-length through singles, remixes, and EPs, Kwes. released Meantime for Warp in 2012. Even for an EP, it runs short, at only about 15 minutes, and starts off slow with an ambient synth instrumental. The following three songs better illustrate what Kwes. is ….
This is Kwes’ first solo release since crossing over from Young Turks to Warp at the end of last year. I’m struggling to wrap my head around why they wanted him. Okay, so for a guy still in his mid-twenties, he keeps some pretty impressive company. Production work for Damon Albarn and Speech Debelle, official remixes for The xx, The Invisible, and the Portico Quartet, and a genuinely decent couple of mixtapes with Micachu, including original guest vocals from the likes of Ghostpoet and Dels.
A great EP from the rising London producer, which bodes well for future releases. Mike Diver 2012 A still-rising producer in his mid-20s, Londoner Kwes has already received his share of plaudits and been courted by many a collaborator. Having caught the music bug through toying around with an organ aged just four, he’s since worked beside talents including Speech Debelle, Dels and Damon Albarn.