Review: Wayfarer – Afterlight EP [UA005]

Uprise Audio close the year with further evidence of why they’re one of the top tier labels in the underground scene. Fresh off the ‘Live from the Future’ LP, Seven and cohorts unleash Wayfarer’s ‘Afterlight’ EP. Continuing to explore the same “future-primitive” vein that the anthem ‘Reflections’ did – all hyper-real sound-scaping, antediluvian percussion, and clinically precise bass physics – and with support coming from the taste-makers in the scene like Yunx, VIVEK, and N-Type, you know this one is clearly insta-bag status.

If the heads remember correctly, ‘Afterlight’ first appeared on Seven’s recent Rinse FM appearance, seamlessly blended with an acapella of ‘Reflections’. To tell you the truth, at first I thought it was a ‘Reflections’ VIP (which secretly needs to happen), but as soon as that lumbering b-line erupted, my head was knocked clean off. I was calling for a rewind not two minutes into the show! The huge lurching rhythm that made ‘Reflections’ so good is expanded upon with the title track. Hypnotically stuttered percussion and an undulating sub create an atmosphere of intense concentration that pulls the mind to wander. Waves of ambient effluvium swell and surge as a quivering shamanic voice compels us to preform a sound-system haka. Definitely a peak time track and destined to get its fair share of rwds<< in the future.

Much like Wayfarer’s ‘Shaman’, ‘Azuma’ is a tightly wound, syncopated stomper that may wear out those dancing shoes if you aren’t ready. Bells ring forth and beckon ‘Azuma’ to arise. Reinforced kicks propel as surging mid-range slice the empty air until flecks of hollow drums and hair tingling hi-hats fill out the rhythmic gaps and fulcrums. On the flip, ‘Zeg’ unfolds with a building ambient opening, twinkling piano lines ride atop until the drop – a crisp and refreshing palate cleanser. ‘Zeg’ proceeds to morph and shift into a laid-back, percussive roller that keeps the floor moving and locked in the moment.

Personally, it’s ‘Nomad’ that makes the EP for me. Those cavernous drum formations constantly shift while the sub swerves and swipes like some kind of drunken master. An occasional refracted siren echoes from dubspace as disembodied voices yawp from out of the aether. This one is perfect to slip in between those Gantz and LAS bits you love to play so much. As with everything Uprise Audio has released so far, Wayfarer’s ‘Afterlight’ EP is no different. It goes straight for the throat and floor, not stopping till it’s had its way. UA005 is simply another stellar release from a label that can do no wrong at the moment.

UA005 is released December 16th and is available from Juno Download and the Uprise Audio Store.

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