Iceberg by Stillhead
Debut album from Scottish producer could be future downtempo classic
The atmospheric, dub-infused music Stillhead main man Alex Cowles produced in his previous guise as DFRNT remains an integral part of his new album Iceberg. Coupled with richly textured layers of sound, tasteful samples and exquisite production values, it might sound like business-as-usual, but there's been a significant leap forward in this debut album under his new moniker, namely the songwriting. With vocal contributions from Triinu Taul, Mu Vonz and Zoe Ellying, we're presented with real pop songs, with crossover potential. Check out Pounds of Gold for yourself.
Influenced by Nordic artists like Trentemoller and Lulu Rouge alongside more experimental producers like Deadbeat and Rob Clouth, the overall mood is chilly downtempo; making it easy to draw comparisons with the mighty Zero 7. The freezing cold concept of winter subtly connects the twelve tracks, yet the music is warming, reassuring. For example, album highlight Uncertain Dub uses sea birds as background noise contrasting with a sweet melody and breakbeats. And on Vast Expanse it's a cold, early morning, "waiting for the sun" as it slowly rises, to warm you through.
What we have here is a future downtempo classic.
9/10 after 19 listens