David August The Spell/A Golden Rush

David August The Spell/A Golden Rush
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Two-track EP The Spell/A Golden Rush is David August's second release for Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records, and although it stumbles a bit on its B-side, it is an impressive piece of work overall.
 
"The Spell" is easily the highlight, as August gives and takes rhythmic elements frequently throughout, doling out tight, satisfying breakbeats that hit hard alongside some nice, deep bass; there's a real sense of energy and abundance here. It's also the track that makes sense of the EP's creepy carnival cover art, with ghostly children's voices weaving in and out of the proceedings and an arpeggio that definitely sounds like it could be the soundtrack to the sinister whirling of some dark carousel. 
 
Second offering "A Golden Rush" is a more midtempo affair, and features newcomer Nelia Kit on vocals and guitar. Kit acquits herself well, but doesn't exactly feel essential to the track. She sings a quick verse and then pretty much disappears, resurfacing as a chopped-up vocal snippet later on. It makes it difficult to discern a proper throughline to the track, which in turn makes it seem less focused. There's still much to like, as each discrete section is as solid and slickly produced as the rest of the EP — it just doesn't hang together as well, and a better utilization of Kit's vocals might have helped. The EP is still full of good ideas however, and David August remains one to watch. (Counter)