Ext‘s One of the Moments LP is sure to garner comparisons to Burial. It’s emotional, full of down-pitched voices and haunting atmospheres, and propelled by garage beats. While blogger math class teaches that feels + garage = Burial, there’s a lot more to Ext’s complex LP than biting some old Burial tunes. OOTM is a work of technical and artistic sophistication better compared to Drake, of all people in its ability to simultaneously move a crowd to tears and to dance. The 2-step swing of these beats is not lost or muted by Ext’s soundscapes, but rather brought to the foreground with crisp, visceral drum work. This is indeed an emotional garage album, but there’s more going on underneath the surface than #sadboi tears.
Ext manages to dip into a pleasant sadness on One of the Moments without wallowing there, and as the album progresses that sadness is mixed with a rising sense of aggression. The melancholy of opening tracks “Time Flies” and “Causing Passion” is deceptively simple in comparison to the subdued anger within latter tracks “Don’t Go”, “Silent” and “Warrior”. Backed by guttural, churning beats, these dark rhythms are just as suited for the dread sound of techno-tinged imprints Osiris and Cold Recordings as our good friends at STYLSS.
The complexity of this album is mirrored by its environment. Garage and the other assorted genres within the hardcore continuum are intrinsically urban, tied to the cities and streets from which they were born. Whether it’s the daily desperation of Goldie‘s Timeless or late-night wanderings with Kryptic Minds, they create sense of space and place that is inescapable. The birthplace of OOTM isn’t London however, but Simferopol, Ukraine. Ext’s album was produced in the largest city of Crimea, now disputed to be Russian-owned and the center of a recent semi-hostile military takeover. I can’t speak for EXT, but perhaps the mixed emotions and evolving sentiments contained here are a reaction to the massive upheavals Ukraine has undergone the past 12 months.
Regardless of any political ramifications, Ext has crafted a beautiful album here that should not be missed. You can download the LP from the STYLSS Bandcamp below. Also, don’t miss Ext’s stellar techno mix for STYLSS focused on “lost counter-culture” (also streaming below).