Octo Octa

Between Two Selves

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When Michael Bouldry-Morrison debuted as Octo Octa in 2011, he immediately seemed like the 100% Silk artist who had the most comfortable relationship with classic and contemporary house. The first release from the Brooklyn-based producer, a four-track 12" highlighted by the giddy longing of the Amerie-sampling "I'm Trying," was made with the intent to move bodies on and away from dancefloors. The combination of rich and direct rhythms with narcotizing textures hinted at a love for similarly affecting, multi-purpose records produced by the Burrell Brothers and Bobby Konders. On Between Two Selves, his first album -- also released on 100% Silk -- Bouldry-Morrison crafts a more refined batch of house tracks that exposes a wider emotional range. Many of the vocal samples are pitched down; "Come Closer," "Bad Blood, and "Fear" pack seductive, churning menace. "His Kiss," buoyed by sharp breakbeat accents, is dizzying and euphoric, while "Please Don't Leave" is all longing ache ("I don't want you to go") with rattling percussion and a buried bittersweet melody. The only track without deeply emotional content is the functional "Work Me," a scuffy workout that is surprisingly physical. The album could have easily been split to make for Bouldry-Morrison's third and fourth EPs, but it succeeds as a 50-minute sequence with remarkably steady quality control.

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