23-year-old Greg Feldwick hones the luminary art of digital noises as Slugabed, producing cleverly intergalactic and eccentric sounds from the UK. The young curator of technological fantasy headed to Brighton in 2008 from his hometown of Bath. Slugabed released his first works through Stuff Records and Ramp Recordings. Later, he signed onto Planet Mu Records, through which he released his 2010 Ultra Heat Treated EP. Now signed to Ninja Tune—also home to the likes of Amon Tobin and the Cinematic Orchestra—Slugabed released his full-length debut Time Team in July 2012, having recently completed his first tour stateside earlier in the spring.
While most traditional songs tell stories about or reflect life, electronic music does something different. With its (often) lack of lyrics and alien sounds, great electronic music creates an alternate universe. Ranging from the nostalgia of Boards of Canada to the interstellar euphoria of Orbital or Aphex Twin's sinister landscapes, listening to electronic music can feel like traveling to another dimension. London producer Slugabed's debut certainly feels like a journey. Listening to Time Team feels like stepping into a slick lounge in classic Nintendo game Megaman's 8bit metropolis, Slugabed takes you to a place that feels at once mysterious, futuristic, and oddly familiar.
Part of the effect comes from how Slugabed plays with a variety of styles you may be familiar with, but aren't used to hearing together. His music is grounded in the slow, cool cadence of hip hop beats, but he cuts out the lyricism. Instead, he layers on dreamy detuned synths, otherworldly vocal samples, 8bit (old school video game style) sounds and other atmospherics.
“All This Time” is a good example of Slugabed's sound, with it's female vocal samples twisted to sound beautiful and alien, funky quasi hip hop beat and splatters of glitchy samples. “Sex” is well … pretty sexy. Slugabed lays down a clipped hip hop beat, and brings out a springy synth bass line that bounces on the border of cheesy and awesome, which makes it more awesome.
Other tracks, like “Unicorn Suplex” are even slicker, bringing out an 8bit orchestra of twirling and sparkling synths, it feels glamorous in a yachting on Mars kind of way.
If you're a fan of instrumental hip hop, ambient or glitchy electronic, Slugabed is a must listen. If not, he's got the melodic hooks and chops to draw listeners into his world that wouldn't normally venture into his territory.