Published May 21, 2020Earlier this year, Active Surplus — the Toronto duo composed of Evan Vincent (Emissive) and Ian Syrett — made their debut on Vancouver's Pacific Rhythm label, a mainstay for dreamy house and electronica coming out of Canada's West Coast. Their bubbly dance track "Peppermint," featured on the fourth volume of Rhythms of the Pacific, fit in well alongside new labelmates like Khotin, Wolfey and Chapters. The pair have returned to the label for their self-titled debut EP, a well thought-out and concise release inspired by the slippery drum patterns of Baltimore club.
The four tracks featured are at once ready to spice up or cool off a dance floor and they do just as well from the comfort of home. "Yaye" opens the EP with a bouncing key pattern and chant samples culminating the track before its 303 bassline slides in and all the elements are brought together in a neat package. "Ambrosia" comes knocking, concealing its drums in ambient waves that wash over the track like sea foam on a breezy harbour morning. "One Beyond" coasts on this wave and keeps a steady groove over luscious keys and textures. And finally, "Meera" carries a downplayed and calm tone, evoking a time since past, but hardly feels sentimental.
The EP is characteristic of Pacific Rhythm's many other releases and it's a pleasure to see the label branching out across mainland Canada. In the duo's own words, "We might not live by the ocean, but we're all H2O on the inside." (Pacific Rhythm)