Release Date: May 27, 2016
Record label: Hotflush
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Upon its release in 2011, Sepalcure's self-titled full-length made waves for its inventive blend of multiple electronic music subgenres in seamless fashion, as well as its ability to thrive as a set of songs outside of a dance-oriented environment. Five years later, their long-awaited sophomore LP, Folding Time, finds itself in a similar sphere, drawing from dub, juke, drum'n'bass and so much more to create something distinct. Built from freshly composed tracks and some retooled older ones, the record is also very indicative of how far Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma have come since their last album as a duo, working solo as Machinedrum and Braille, respectively.
It’s been a while since we last heard from US pair Sepalcure – both halves of the duo, Braille and Machinedrum, have been excelling with their juke and garage experiments as solo producers. Now back together five years after their debut LP, these expert drum programmers sound more tender than ever.Along the way, various vocal collaborations – as well as some seductive samples – add a sense of lingering pain to the likes of ‘Not Gonna Make It’ and ‘Hurts So Bad’, while darker, more physical cuts such as ‘Hearts In Danger’ lurch and sway with real menace. It makes for a tumultuous trip that has all the highs and lows of a real relationship, and one that sounds as good alone, on headphones, as it will in the club.
If you go on hiatus in dance music, even just for a year or two, you can resurface in a world that's unrecognizable. When Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) and Praveen Sharma (Braille) released their year-defining album in 2011, their Sepalcure project was on top of the game, tying together all the threads of contemporary bass music—dubstep, garage, footwork—into a smooth sound of their own. They put out a couple of solid records after that, but then went quiet, waiting until their solo schedules allowed them to work together in person again.
If Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma are indeed more concerned with refining their sound than developing it, Folding Time is Sepalcure polished to a textureless patina of reference points. Nearly five years after their self-titled debut album marked the peak convergence of late-2000s bass music and its myriad influences—dubstep, R&B, footwork, house, ambient, hardcore—the duo's second full-length returns to that once vital style to find it rendered prosaic. “Inside me, inside of you/I've been going backwards,” sings Body Language's Angelica Bess amidst the swaying UK funky-lite of “Devil Inside.