[email protected] The Premonition EP

A long time in the coming, Swollen Members have won a couple of Junos since fellow Canadian [email protected] first began circulating his original demo version of The Premonition EP. Now with an extra track added, it is professionally available thanks to Conversion Theory Records. Comparisons have been made to DJ Shadow, but the production here is nowhere near as complex as Shadow’s, with two tracks ("District 6” and "Floor Density”) tending towards repetitiveness. However, it does evoke a smooth, laidback vibe that can entrance. Side A is three tracks of jazzy, down-tempo instrumentation bordering on trip-hop. In fact, the soulful female vocals on "Never Ending Journey” and the beat for "Emerald Longevity” bring to mind the sounds of Portishead. Side B pushes up the tempo, beginning with "The Pre-cursor,” a cut and slice collaboration with DJ Grasshopper on the one new track, followed by two more drum-heavy hip-hop productions. "Floor Density” is a partial DJ track, while "Finding Flaws with Perfection” is another jazz piece, but this time up-tempo. The mix-down on a few of the vocal samples could have been a little tighter, but otherwise The Premonition EP is an enjoyable cross-genre debut for [email protected] and well worth the wait. (Conversion Theory)