Architeq is a young Scotsman called Sam Ammand now based in London where, after a minimum amount of fuss and not a lot of previous form, he has just unleashed one of the most accomplished beat driven debut albums that I’ve heard in a while
Don’t be deceived by the simple melodic electro funk opener and the sleepy hip hop beats of ‘Krakatoa’ as the album rapidly takes a dive into musically deeper waters where hip hop beats old and new rub shoulders with the funk and cosmic disco, the ghosts of classic dub engineers come back from the other side to revive their art, scuzzy psyched out effects vie for attention with gentle melodies and a million and one samples are gently and lovingly positioned in just the right places.
‘Nothing’ feat Junior Williams is a twisted nu-soul gem propelled along by some simple but neat drum programming and one of three restrained vocal tracks on the album. The others being ‘Spinning Plates’ an urgent and unsettling twisted drum odyssey that anchors the floating pop vocals of Angele David Gillou and the homage to 80′s soul that is ‘Mind Games’ featuring the sonically distressed voice of Ilija Rudman who sounds like he’s a bit out breath.
The rest of the album is an instrumental wonderland full of inventive drums, great melodic moments, live percussion and some darker side excursions. Plenty of sonic twists and turns keep you on your toes, leaping out at you just as you think you’ve got the direction of a track sussed. This isn’t beat making by numbers this is Architeq and he doesn’t drive in straight lines and rarely does obvious.
Highlights include the pitched down cosmic boogie of ‘Odyssey’, the stuttering beats underpinning what sound like an ornithologist at a dub lab, otherwise known as ‘Birds Of Prey’ and the constantly morphing dark future funk fusion of ‘Into The Cosmos’. The album is a really solid listen start to finish and an assured debut and I for one am predicting bigger things for this boy.