Ukrainian Vakula may just be untouchable at present. The young producer has patiently been building an impressive discography over the past few years, crafting a hypnotic and affecting sound with releases for Quintessentials, Uzuri, 3rd Strike and Firecracker Recordings. His distinctive brand of deep house is delightful, and was demonstrated at its strongest on his latest effort for the promising Unthank label. The three track EP was of the highest quality, combining shuffling house templates with expanding and altering melodies that overwhelm. His most recent release for the newly formed Shevchenko label, one named after the great Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko (although I like to think it was rather named in honour of Andriy Shevchenko, my favourite football player of all time - I'm an AC Milan fan), follows in a similar vein, with a hand-stamped white label providing two tracks of equal measure.
The A-side of the Shevchenko release is the glowing highlight on this 12”. The track titled ‘Mama Said Go Slow’ opens with a driving 4/4 beat supplemented by a flurry of sustained hats and deft snare hits. Minor acid synths bubble gently beneath the surface, gently rising and receding before being outdone by the introduction of absorbed chords. The sensuous melody induced by the Detroit inspired keys leads the line, subtly altering throughout whilst a low key soul sample is left lying in its wake. It really is a beautiful endeavour.
‘Deaf World’ (Dub) on the flip is a decidedly downtempo effort, somewhat subdued and tentative. A slow mo driving beat centres events, intermittently joined by quick fire hi-hats, lingering snares and sporadic crashing toms. Arcing synthlines emerge to claim dominance in the first half of the track, only to be gradually displaced on the track’s journey. A light and perhaps smoother arrangement of soft keys grows in stature, thoughtfully matching the previous synthlines with equal intensity. It’s a carefully constructed beatdown track, one which characterises the unique sounds Vakula initiates.
‘Mama Said Go Slow/Deaf World (Dub)’ is a fine effort, and further evidence of this flourishing producer’s talents. The A-side is very special, finding a perfect balance between fine tuned rhythms and introspective melodies that lend the track a further groove. Limited hand printed 12”; don’t sleep on it.
Mama said go smoothly by Vakula