Mr Crux – mist/Past Life

Mr CruxWelsh electronic music phenom Mr Crux has two new releases for us this week – a lush, three-track downtempo EP and a white hot single that is dangerously close to mass-marketable.

mist opens with the luxuriously paced instrumental “city.” It’s a minimalist, stripped down track that’s all about the beat. Because it stretches just 1:44, that simplicity serves it beautifully.

Track two is the EP’s highlight. “bones” is built around an effortlessly romantic spoken word sample: “Have you ever had a feeling and just known somewhere in your bones that somebody was gonna play a major part in your life?”

Its source is the 2014 indie film Before We Go, directed by Chris Evans and co-starring Alice Eve.

There’s a subtle vulnerability in the young woman’s words; the way her voice cracks slightly over the word “bones.” Mr Crux marries that with a laid-back drum beat and an acoustic-sounding piano-bar keyboard that accentuates the sophisticated vibe.

“night time dwelling” rounds out the EP. Another lovely track.

Released the same day as mist, “Past Life” landed as a separate single. “First track that I’ve ever sang on (loose definition of ‘sang’),” writes Mr Crux on his Bandcamp page.

He’s being more than a little self-effacing. Mr Crux delivers a killer R&B vocal performance, set to a picturesque downtempo beat. The Auto-Tune’s cranked up, no question. But it’s used properly here – to emphasize rather than correct the vocal. He’s not the first to employ this technique obviously, but the result here is both tasteful and effective.

“Past Life” deserves international radio play.

Kevin Press

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