Conrad “sumthin sumthin” Woodul has finally dropped his new Light Garden EP, out today on Deadbeats. The multitalented producer has been putting out heat for several years now, and within the last six months has released such memorable tunes as “Division” (which features one of my favorite drops in years), “Damage” (with Saka), and “Narrow” (with Player Dave). Light Garden keeps the bar incredibly high, and even boasts a collab with legendary French world bass producer CloZee.
sumthin sumthin kicks it off with“Light Garden.” A blanket of rich synthesized elements, processed vocal samples, and percussion overwhelms the listener, and a synth hook introduces the melodic theme of the track. Then sumthin sumthin really gives it to us, dishing out fat, wompy basses interspersed with bouncy chords that are reminiscent of his days as a future bass producer. He leads us out of the chorus with a lighter section featuring that recurring hook, and the atmospheric midsection slowly builds tension into the second half. Thick, chunky bass stabs blow the roof off, and variations of this sound showcase sumthin sumthin’s masterful sound design. The outro features cinematic drums, vocal elements, and fluttery tonal ambience.
One interesting note about this piece is that it is in 3/4 time, like a waltz. This is an uncommon time signature for bass music, but it absolutely works here.
The second track, “Brilliant,” is a perfect example of sumthin sumthin’s concept of dark vs. light. A dark synth drone carries us through the intro, but is accompanied by shimmering atmospheric elements and percussion. A foreboding bell melody leads us into the chorus. Swung-out basses and percussion give the track a groove, while the sonic palette is dark and ominous. The midsection teases the bassline for the second half, and builds up nicely to a huge release. The distorted basses are perfectly layered, chopped, and arranged for a deep grooviness that sumthin sumthin is known for. Glitchy fills and evolving variations in bass design keep each section lively and fresh.
Next up we have “Salt,” which features the uber-talented CloZee. Grainy, delayed plucks ride an arpeggiated pattern and tease the flavor of the track. The build climbs to its zenith, and drops into one of the most unique chorus sections we’ve heard in a while. The lead sound is gritty and sharp but almost… rubbery? It plays a descending melody in varying patterns and at different rates throughout. The 808 bass, drums, and sound effects surround the distinctive harmonic elements while leaving them plenty of space to shine. The second chorus is absolutely epic. Choirs and vocal chops are layered in with a sharp bass synth, and the whole thing sounds the way a dream of flying feels. The third chorus is insanely groovy, combining elements of the prior two drop sections. Wubby bass hits, a sick up-down-up-down bassline, swung drums, and effected drum and synth fills had us MOVING.
The fourth and final track on the EP is “Aluminum,” which was released as a single two months ago. If you haven’t already heard it, please do so now. Another waltzy track (like “Brilliant”), “Aluminum” has an insane groove to it. The intro sets up a beautiful atmosphere for the track to exist within. The first chorus is a masterclass in controlling space, utilizing silence, and designing rich harmonic themes. A hollow yet powerful lead synth is layered with choral elements, and the evolution of sounds through the section is subtle, tasteful, and unique. The midsection brings in just a touch of vocals, and creates an expectation for the next half of the track that is completely subverted. Rather than a melodic lead, the primary focus of the second chorus is a crunchy, stuttery, vowely bass. Once again, a perfect balance.
sumthin sumthin knows, perhaps more than any other, how to elevate both melodic and heavy elements in a single track. The light and the dark both manage to shine. This collection is an incredible display of musicality, technical skill, and — most important of all — taste.
Here’s what sumthin sumthin had to say about the EP:
“As I closed my eyes when listening to this EP, the only thing I could consistently keep seeing in my mind was, well, a garden of light. It feels as though each track represents a different illumination of my current state of creativity & artistry. This body of work is a glimpse of what is to come in the next stages of my project, further expanding my thesis of dark vs. light.” – sumthin sumthin
We’ll have these tracks on repeat for a long time to come, and can’t wait to see what else this rising star has to offer. If you enjoyed this EP as much as we did, make sure to catch sumthin sumthin this summer at Project Z, Global Dance, Deep Tropics, and Electric Zoo.
What did you think of sumthin sumthin’s Light Garden EP? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials!
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