Somewhere Decent To Live LP
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Ambient duo Space Afrika offer a bird’s eye view of the city centre at night with Somewhere Decent To Live; their keenly anticipated first album on Sferic – the Manchester-based label they run in conjunction with Will Boyd.
Taking gaseous form as a series of dark blue hues and electromagnetic subbass impulses, the vibe inside is delectably elusive. Unlike their previous transmissions on Where To Now? and Köln’s LL.M., the pair’s dancefloor urges are dissolved in favour of suggestively mutable ambient frameworks this time, leaving the kicks in the club whilst they appear to float overhead like the dead kid embarking his Bardo in Gaspar Noé’s Enter The Void.
Unshackled from dancefloor needs, but still inspired and feeding off its spirit and romance, the pair respectfully acknowledge the undercurrents of Jungle, dubstep, ambient techno and deep house which feed into their home city’s late night economy, dowsing their tributaries back to dub and rendering the findings in a quiet, modestly lush ambient haze with a flawlessly anaesthetising effect.
In firm but gentle style they feel out eight interlinked headspaces, drifting like spectral flanneurs from the Diversions-like opener uwëm/creãtiõn to intercept telepathic thoughts from Teutonic friends in the percolated subs and drizzly ambient clag of sd/ tl, before arriving at the most arresting moment in their catalogue thus far with the masterfully widescreen yet immersive bly and its sublimely smeared timbral thizz.
The 2nd half of the record subsequently describes a more inward journey from wistful loops in u+00B1 to the sylvan 2-step of gwabh and curve feat. Echium, ultimately culminating in the echo chamber melt of dred.