CloudNone and Direct have a fascinating history collaborating together. The two Monstercat roster artists have churned out some of the label’s moodiest electronic projects in the last couple of year’s. From their double-single, deep house release “Mojito/Maragarita” to their 2019 breakbeat-pop fusion on their Lost and Found EP, CloudNone and Direct continue pushing their collaborative sound with each new release.
Their latest EP Guilty Pleasures is no different. On the three-track EP, CloudNone and Direct showcase their most melancholic inhibitions with a wide array of tools utilized effectively. The title track, for example, warps the vocals from low bass to high-pitch ranges. Meanwhile, the drums at the start have this low-fi quality like something out of a Burial project. But it’s the floating, ominous synths and nonchalant basslines that set the focal tone for both the track and the whole EP.
On the second track “Slip,” CloudNone and Direct venture into more optimistic territory while still utilizing garage as their genre medium. The synthesized-piano melody is catch while being reminiscent of the sound of a fading steelpan drums. This is juxtaposed in the breakdown as a crescendo of violins builds steam before vanishing into the UK garage beats. But it returns just as potent and mixed in with the beat.
The last track, “Told You,” is arguably the grooviest track on the track. The hi-hats hit a little harder and have a technical cleanliness not shared in the previous tracks. It stands out as a confident track that is makes its synths louder, its drums more layered, and its sound more complex. It’s also an excellent close to this EP as it’s a strong sendoff after a surprising listen of introspective, electronic music.
In short, CloudNone and Direct share their most intimate listening material they’ve ever produced. Looking at the project as a whole, the EP sequencing shows an interesting progression from song to song. “Guilty Pleasures” starts from a sound of dejection and regret. Then it’s followed by “Slip” that shares the sentiment of nocturnal, crooked smiles. The EP comes to a close with “Told You” where previous subtleties are discarded for more prominent and confident sound design choices. The Guilty Pleasures EP isn’t just three breakbeat/garage tracks. It’s a story told with little lyrics and all ambiance.
Make sure to check out CloudNone and Direct’s latest Guilty Pleasures EP out now everywhere.