Toronto, ON producer Vanese Smith (aka Pursuit Grooves) tackles broad stylistic terrain on her new EP with her characteristic originality and panache. "Fragile" opens, blending electronic aloofness with cryptic, nocturnal sensuality in a manner unheard since Sade's 303-infused anomaly, "Make Some Room." "Shouldn't Be Here" nudges the BPMs up several notches and drops Smith's rubbery, homebrewed take on the dembow riddim into foggy, unfurnished house. "About Time" replies in the same style/tempo, adding bleary-eyed turntable hiccups, courtesy of Slowpitch. "Love Letter in Bloom" recalls Aphex, circa I Care Because You Do, yet adds hazily intoned spoken word, a contrast for those who've heard Smith's laid-back yet assertive rhyming. "Mad Passion" closes the set with a similarly diffused spoken voice placed amidst a collagist beat that teleports Perrey and Kingsley into Burial's forlorn universe. For some, it may be tempting to map shortcuts to other producer/vocalists, such as Georgia Anne Muldrow or Cooly G, but in either case, it's a dead end. Sure, she shares a bit of Muldrow's waywardly, soulful introspection and definitely Ms. G's penchant for bass-heavy economy, but Pursuit Grooves stands squarely on her own. Leaping Desire serves as an intriguing, if fragmented, transition, offering several possible paths for Smith ― all fruitful.
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