Seams Quarters

Seams Quarters
7
Last year, James Welch (aka Seams) released his excellent double EP, Tourist/Sleeper, to great reviews, but arguably less fanfare than it deserved. Quarters (the young UK producer's debut album proper) therefore arrives with some degree of anticipation and raised expectations. What sets Quarters (named after the various corners of Berlin the producer has lived in) apart from the slew of releases by other young, electronic producers? Compositionally, not that much — opening track "ClapOne" could be a recent Daphni track, while "Constants" screams Border Community — but the production is close to perfection. The attributes that mark Quarters as fresh and exciting — crisp handclaps, the hypnotic repetition buried beneath a constantly moving exterior, the µ-Ziq-esque blend of IDM and dance floor, coupled with the wonky, kaleidoscopic melodies and the discombobulating synth phasing — are impressive and compelling. However, as an album it doesn't stand up quite as well to repeated listens as it should. There isn't one sound out of place and absolutely no fat; it's just that you can't help wondering whether a weekend away from Berlin drinking mushroom tea with James Holden might help to take it to the next level. (Full Time Hobby)