Release Date: Jul 10, 2012
Record label: Dovecote Records
Genre(s): Electronic, R&B
Supreme CutsWhispers In The Dark[Dovecote Records; 2012]By Will Ryan; August 13, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGYou'd be forgiven for lumping Supreme Cuts in with what certain parts of the internet like to call "post-dubstep." The broad catchall phrase for any electronic music with soggy vocal samples and splintered snare sounds isn't completely off base either. Chicago duo Mike Perry and Austin Kjeultes work from a seemingly familiar place, and based on their only prior release, an EP by the name of Trouble, it's a place they've had to work out of before finding anything in the way of distinction. But familiar by no means means bad.
"Hipster-friendly" rap and R&B has lately turned a downcast nod towards sombre melody and hazy atmospherics, exemplified by acts like Drake and producers like Clams Casino. Coincidentally or not, there's a glut of sadsack beat artists, and for every Holy Other or Synkro, there's innumerable generic acts willing to put some chipmunk vocals on preset drums and call it a day. So with any new name that swims in the same school, I tend to approach them with a tad of trepidation.
Give Mike Perry and Austin Kjeultes of Supreme Cuts a brief once-over, and you'd be quick to assume that these two Chicago-based musicians are products of their environment. Talking to Pitchfork contributor Andrew Ryce for Resident Advisor this past May, the duo revealed how they drummed up the idea for Supreme Cuts after failing to find their footing as rap producers, instead synthesizing their common interests in Windy City-centric genres like footwork and juke, house and post-rock to craft their Trouble EP, and now Whispers in the Dark, their debut full-length. Listeners who've paid attention to trends in electronic music of the past 12 months or so won't be at all surprised by what they hear on Whispers in the Dark: new age textures, plenty of clipped and distressed vocals, lush R&B notes, rhythms that nod to Southern hip-hop.
From the bang-banging hubris of its fledgling MCs (Chief Keef, King L) to the kinetic bricolages of its footwork DJs (Rashad, Spinn), Chicago music has been pumping out blogosphere-stirring music at an especially quick clip over the past few months. But one Windy City act whose work has flown relatively far under the radar is the electronic duo of Supreme Cuts, who, after releasing last fall’s Trouble EP and producing various hip-hop tracks for cloud-rap spitters like Haleek Maul and Main Attrakionz, have just dropped off their debut full-length, Whispers in the Dark, a 48-minute synthesis of the hazier sides of Chicago house, juke, footwork, and more. Like many a young and impressionable producer before them, Mike Perry and Austin Kjeultes share an affinity for genre-jumping and especially an urgency to keep things moving.