Late – Phantom Papers EP Late – Phantom Papers EP

Late - Phantom Papers EP

Ah Burial, what have you started. Ever since the previously enigmatic producer released his debut album, (I say previously- we now know he’s some bloke called Will) the branch of electronic music that would become known as Dubstep has seen a whole host of copycats flocking to cash in. After 2007’s landmark Untrue and a subsequent Mercury nomination, Burial was fast becoming a household name. The purists might argue, but Burial is one of the main reasons why Dubstep has so much influence and popularity today. Whilst copycats may at first sound like a bad thing, it’s those who have taken his sound as a touchstone and used it to create their own beats that Dubstep needs if it’s to make new fans.


Any new sudden fad is usually secured of spawning several shittier clones, but it’s been a welcome surprise with Burial that no-one else has quite managed to copy. It isn’t a particularly complicated sound; Once you’ve replicated that two step beat, added in warped female vocals and some samples of rain, you’re nearly there. Yet the question of, “I like Burial….who would you recommend?” On Dubstep forums is still one that is rampant amongst the newer listeners, mainly because it’s an awkward one to answer. No-one quite has it down. Happily, Finnish producer Late is one of the most directly Burial influenced artists I’ve come across, and also the one that pulls it off with greatest aplomb.

“Under These Conditions” has the echoes of a trance number combined a chopped up diva vocal, producing something altogether more sinister than the aforementioned UK producer. It ends up sounding more suited to the rainy backstreets of some European city than a back alley in South London. The shoegazey title track “Phantom Papers” is more of a slower burner than the others on here; building slowly with warm electronics and skittering drum patterns to create an enduring sense of melancholy. Thankfully the Nordic producer doesn’t want us all slitting the wrists immediately and the track is lifted up by a warm interlude at the beginning and at its climax. Closer “Bittersweet” owes more to producers on the Hessle Audio label than it does to sinister East-London soundscapes, rumbling bass and two step drum beats providing a low key background to Phantom Papers. But it’s the heartfelt two step of the beautiful opener, “Losing You” that proves to be the star of Phantom Papers. Here the Burial comparisons are at their most fitting and the Finnish producer shows that he knows how to take what is now a classic sound and add a fresh edge- The raw fear of losing someone. It works brilliantly, and if nothing else the bass will give your speaker set up a run for its money. Beautiful yet sinister at the same time, “Losing You” is without doubt the greatest achievement on the EP.

A strong debut EP that takes a well known signature sound and expands upon it, Late is one producer to keep an eye on.

1. Losing You
2. Under These Conditions
3. Phantom Papers
4. Bittersweet

Late - Phantom Papers EP, reviewed by Lemon on 2011-02-28T14:21:07-08:00 rating 3.8 out of 5

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