Posted on November 25, 2022
FRESH JUICE: Verbal Groove by SMIFF
Edinburgh native SMIFF delivers his debut EP Verbal Groove on Berlin imprint SOWASVON. 4 tracks of stimulating bass and electro from a young gun on the rise in both Scottish and UK circles.
Words by Oisín Campbell/ Design by Michael Savage
Buy/ Stream here: sowasvon.bandcamp.com/album/verbal-groove
Riding on the crest of a wave in the Scottish capital since the turn of the pandemic, SMIFF has been a frequent suitor to some of the city's most established parties in Headset, SSL, and Overground, as well as establishing his own night Red Room Sound which recently debuted with Nikki Nair.
On top of this he has maintained a steady flow of releases both through himself and under imprints like Edinburgh's FEEDBACK Recordings. His debut feature length EP on SOWASVON is well due and he will join a back catalogue consisting of dominant European acts like LUZ1E and Taube on the Berlin based imprint.
The foundation of SMIFF's early sound has revolved around heady percussive elements and throbbing bass shuttles that amass both a tribal and club ready focus. Without trying to reinvent the wheel, Verbal Groove delivers 4 tracks of pulsating UK bass using the bare necessities to deliver an unmistakable bodily groove with every rhythm. The EP cements the notion of less being more and once you lock in on the right grooves, the rest tends to follow.
(Pictured: SMIFF in action)
Opening track 'Mutate' steadies with an Eastern inspired hand drum pattern that is pedestalled by humming bass lines and well sequenced vocal snippets. Well equipped for an appropriate soundsystem, 'Mutate' continues to gather momentum right through to its climax.
'UFIXIT' enters with a galloping kick and timely hats that entangle with chippy samples of vocals and other trinkets. By the time the bass line converges there is already a head of steam well and truly embedded on this funky meets dubstep chaser.
Perhaps the stand out of the lot, 'Hydraplain' introduces us to another side of SMIFF's sound. Receiving plaudits from the likes of Les Yeux Orange, 'Hydraplain' shimmies with a steady 808 groove alongside rave and bass arrangements that create an elegant crossover between electro and UK techno.
Title track 'Verbal Groove' concludes where the sound began with a desirable bass filled groove that once again leans heavy on smart vocal sampling and revolving low ends.
Expect this to be the first in a long series of recordings to come from the young Scot. Verbal Groove has already gone on to receive plaudits from acts like Chloe Robinson and DJ ADHD and the EP is set to undergo the launch party treatment tonight in SMIFF's home city of Edinburgh at the Wee Red Bar. (Tickets here: ra.co/events/1607808)
Discover more of SMIFF's sounds here: smiffbreaks.bandcamp.com/