Published Dec 03, 2015Sam Willis has enjoyed moments of greatness with his work in the sun-dazed electronic duo Walls. The Primitive World project finds him in a techno revivalist role, especially on this acutely minimal, five-track EP. Purple Caps induces toe tapping but manages to elude danceability, sounding almost improvised with primal beats that buzz and swarm. And while most of these songs are unabashedly playful, the bare-bones production can seem a bit digressive at times.
The title track leads us into a bog of croaking beats, haphazardly pierced with samples, and after three minutes, the bass gets supersized. "Azimuth" is a case study in house music, and the core songs — especially "Q-Type" — get increasingly dense, which becomes a bit monotonous after five minutes. The bonus track is a "Purple Caps" remix by Alessio Natalizia, the other half of Walls, who contributes some much-needed smoothness to the single.
Lovers of old-school electronica will probably find something to cherish on this EP, but many listeners will find that Purple Caps is short on surprises, with a repetitiveness that doesn't quite pay off. (R & S Records)