Logos – Cold Mission LP
Label: KeysoundScore: 8.5
It took a while and a lot of listens to totally comprehend the debut album from Logos. To categorise it, I’d say it sits well among the wave of grime releases currently being churned out by producers with a taste for the avant garde. The spatial consciousness envisioned throughout it is the defining aspect of the record, one far away from the oft chocker block aggression the genre primitively arose with. The current worldwide stock of instrumental grime producers don’t all convey themselves as angry young men through their beats and with Logos, his confidence in the lingering power silence can attain provides an elemental beauty not often realised in the form.
Otherwise known as James Parker, Logos originates from Lincolnshire, though he upped sticks to London more than a decade ago, where he was able to immerse himself in the varied and unique culture the city has to offer. Its music of provenance truly capturing his attention – he’s co-promoter of the cities single dedicated grime night, Boxed in.
Parker’s previously stated the influence Wiley’s Devil Mixes had on his musical identity and the largely beatless style of grime the godfather himself pursues, is an antagonistic facet of Logos’ sound. His back catalogue is just one deep. The ‘Kowloon’ EP released on the impeccable Keysound Recordings – which also houses his album – back in 2011, stands as a preliminary stepping stone to the musical style encapsulated on Cold Mission and on a wider scale it pre-empted the revival grime’s currently experiencing. Showing again his knack for how more can be said with less.
Right from the start Cold Mission sets clearly its profound aural identity. ‘Ex 101’ is built on slowly meandering synth lines that seem caught in limbo before the afterlife, broken up by clacking percussion that arrives sharply but quickly pans from focus. ‘Statis Jam’ again has the same dreamy, hiss-licked synth lines, with chirps of bird sound that add a jungle feel for once not associated with the 90’s hype sound revival.
Collectively all the tracks maintain sparse beat patterns and odes to a feeling of melancholia rarely translated through grime, without an MC spewing his heart out about one contentious issue or another.
There is the sense that parts of Cold Mission were only pencil sketched, with room to take an idea further and as Parker stated in a recent interview for FACT, “the last track I finished about a week before we got the thing mastered.” So it would be a fair assumption that with only a single EP released prior to this, Parker may be something of a slow worker when it comes to his music.
He does bring elements of more fire power elsewhere on the project. The album mix of previously released ‘Wut it Do’ featuring Mumdance, builds a whining synth line before almighty jungle breaks take the reigns, matched with heavily pulsating metallic percussive hits.
The records highlight comes through its final track, ‘Atlanta 96’ (Limitless mix). Cricket chirps open, bringing a good time holiday vibe, before silver sparkling synths shine through. Its here the sense of romanticised emotion is rendered at its best. Vocals snips of ‘I’ll go to any ghetto in London’ at one time would deem an aggressive call out to any egotistical MC’s. Here however, it conveys closer to a message of friendship, one of communal unity that crosses all borders, regardless of their postcode.
Cold Mission evokes a sense of light and complex emotional states, that in parts may seem confused and not quite sure of themselves, but make no mistake this is truly a prestigious watermark for what grime has reached towards these past few years. A definite highlight of the year and worth many a listen.