Etherwood – Etherwood [Album Review]

Etherwood – Etherwood [Album Review]

Posted On: November 11, 2013
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Hot off the press comes the self-titled debut LP from Etherwood. Nurturing his sound within the bosom of the Hospital Camp, this Londoner has come from relative obscurity with a record that definitely deserves recognition.

In essence it is a brilliant example of the more musical side of drum and bass, perhaps more at home at a place like Spearhead rather than the Hospital of late. We’re treated to ample use of floaty strings, piano and guitar, already familiar to us through the likes of Hybrid Minds and LSB. There’s a brief appearance of the ocarina reminiscent of his remix of Jakwob’s “Fade”. Blissful vocals come from a number of artists with impressive credentials, including old favourite Georgia Yates and the recently firing Rocky Nti.

But that’s not to say it’s unoriginal. The addition of Etherwood’s own vocals gives tracks like “Begin By Letting Go” a truly bespoke feel. In fact, it’s impressive to see an artist approach a niche as saturated as liquid drum and bass and come out sounding this fresh. There are tunes on the LP that wouldn’t sound out of place in one of Asa or Phaeleh’s sets, but equally, in one of Skeptical’s.

In terms of beats it satisfies all my cravings for diversity. In “Borderline” we see head-nodding half-step, “Away With Me” a lethal minimal influence, with the classic rolling amen appearing in, among others, “Hold Your Breath”.  “Shattered”, featuring Nu:Tone, is a personal favourite that seems to be pretty much a combination of all three, as well as a healthy portion of originality.

The mood oscillates between triumphant in tracks like “Souls Apart” or “Weightless”, pensive in “Falling Out Of Consciousness”, to downright gnarly in the aforementioned “Shattered”.

 All wrapped up it pays testament to Etherwood’s expert production, and deep musicality.

I’m not sure much of it could be called dance-floor material. But that doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I’m sure its musical bent and calming vibe will gain Etherwood a prominent following outside the circle of heads. Sit back and listen to this one through from beginning to end. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.




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