It would appear the mark of a truly exceptional contemporary producer lies not in pure personal ability, but also in the nous to relinquish the limelight from time to time. The widely revered likes of SBTRKT and Disclosure have exhibited this pretty explicitly in recent times, but few apply such an egalitarian ethos to a more organic kind of electronica with the guile of fellow London-based, if everywhere-bred Cosmo Sheldrake.
The splendiferous, Anna Vargas-featuring Rich demonstrated exactly this with grace and guile likewise, meanwhile the first original piece we’ve heard from him in a little while – the spluttering, static-addled and Jana Eidse-led berceuse that is I Threw A Rock Into The Sea – proves equivalently impressive. Again, Sheldrake’s suit is made that bit stronger by his ready disposition to incorporate all the disparate, and at times exotic elements of his colourful upbringing (just wait ’til you hear his rendition of Iko Iko, a recorded take on which is reputedly anticipated next year), for I Threw A Rock Into The Sea sounds not dissimilar to some lost 1940s classic whilst remaining free of such flippant temporal confinement. It could also be mistaken, therefore, for a South African song of praise, or an aural mosaic made from clippings lopped from The Avalanches’ Since I Left You, or even a postdated collaboration between Sierra Casady and Jack Barnett, fed back through a 20th century, thus slightly dicky radio. Fitting, then, that it should be ‘a remixed fireside improvisation that took place on an remote island in British Columbia, Canada. Recorded on an iPhone in the summer of 2013.’