Fantastic Mr. Fox – On My Own EP

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Title: On My Own EP
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Fantastic Mr. Fox is known for his intriguing off-the-wall sound. Infectious pop melodies, hip-hop rhythms and abstract vocals are all distilled into a unique brand of experimental bass-heavy music loosely (potentially) describable as house, with his latest, On My Own, dropping on Bristol imprint Black Acre and causing something of a stir when Jamie XX leaked it back in October of last year.

Whilst Mr. Fox has always flirted with the poppier side of dance this new EP takes that relationship to a whole new level; On My Own and the B-side, Break, are very much celebrations of accessibility. Though not a criticism in itself, it suggests the old days of a more cunning Mr. Fox could be through; something established fans will certainly lament.

Of course, the tracks are good. On My Own is a leftfield pop anthem complete with haunting vocals (courtesy of Denai Moore), whilst Break is a mash-up of hip-hop style chants, broken beats and classical instrumentation. And there’s a fluid energy in the songs too, signalling maturity and deft skill in his production ability. Complex percussion work is at the heart of the music, as ever, with carefully crafted drum-rolls, drops and tempo switches making for engaging listening. Dollops of heavy low-end vibration puncture the pieces as stringed instrumental breaks create droning tension, implying that tour with The XX has left an audible mark on the  young musician. A change in gear then, although these tracks will certainly add a nice touch of experimentalism to any set, they probably won’t be damaging any dancefloors.