Released: 28 January 2014 (Dovecote)
By Josh Hughes
In 2013, Disclosure blew up the world of ‘EDM’ as countless other bands had done in years past (that is if EDM holds any meaning anymore). But their breakthrough brought a much-needed transition away from the immediate appeal of bass heavy music and replaced it with a more aesthetic, cohesively enjoyable blueprint for writing songs. Supreme Cuts, another house/dub/electronica/etc. duo, plays off the post-Disclosure world with ear pleasing songs that rely on melodies that get stuck in your head and grooves instead of specific moments and drops. In that way, “Divine Ecstasy” is a perfect title for the album.
Shifting through “Latch”-like R&B electronic elements on “Cocktails”, footwork inspired cuts like the title track, and saxophone infused house beats, the album tries to encompass everything it can in 14 tracks. In some regards, that’s too much for a relatively new artist to chew, but the over-the-top antics are what makes the album so mesmerizing and quick to return to. Though, surprisingly enough, even with the wide array of genres on the album, many of the songs tend to blur from one to the next. The opening 3 songs (intros and interludes excluded) are significantly different from each other, and like the first three songs on Disclosure’s “Settle”; they all could prove to be breakthrough singles for the group.
Beyond “Cocktails”, “Gone”, and “Envision”, most of the songs have the same sort of appeal, though they’re all rather long and blur between songs. Though, that helps the album with its dreamy, hazy kind of likability. It sounds like the equivalent of driving late at night while your contacts are falling out and there’s blurry lights everywhere.
The two types of songs on the album are the vocally assisted, more typically structured songs shown best on “Gone”, and the instrumental tracks that range between short snippets of ideas and long drawn out hooks and grooves. The intro and epilogue are essentially the same song; the intro fading out and the epilogue fading right back in where it left off, with a groovy saxophone line and house infused piano chords. There’s a spoken word track over both songs that brings a nice conclusion to the album, though it’s hard to differ the meaning it’s trying to get across. I suppose though, that helps with the mystique of the album. It’s a good, cohesive album, though it’s overly long and by the time you get to the amazing penultimate climactic “It’s Like That”, you feel drowned by so much music. “ISIS”, while a nice change of pace for the album, is its one weaker point, leaving me to feel like “Divine Ecstasy” would be stronger cut down to maybe 10 tracks instead of 14.
The brilliance about the album, however, is in its appeal as 14 individual tracks that sound fresh and unique on their own, and are a completely different monster when put together.
Favorite Tracks: “Gone”, “It’s Like That”, “Divine Ecstasy”
Rating: Liked It