British producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist, Peter Ibbetson first made waves with his stunning Rivals EP. With a slew of remixes under his belt, he returns with the follow-up, Control Yourself. Made up of four, impeccably layered, tech-house tracks, he serves further notice as to why he is such a distinctive and exciting talent.
With his articulate, fluid manipulation of electronics, Ibbetson draws in a myriad of sonic ideas like a sponge. He builds a richly detailed sonic space for the listener to inhabit as tracks fluctuate from languid grooves to snapping, dancefloor-ready beats all within the blink of an eye.
The slow-burning opener, “Thistle Hotels” begins with a sweeping, majestic grace as the gentle breath of electronics give way to crisp, techno percussion and writhing synth lines that drift in and out of focus. Each element moves with a graceful fluency as hooks and melodies are carefully folded in to create strikingly rich and vivid textures. Soon, Ibbetson brings in sighing, wordless vocal loops that imbue the piece with a sense of humanity. It’s a prime example of the organic and synthetic elements of his work harmonizing beautifully.
“Control Yourself” continues in the same vein with a steady beat and swirling electronics that steadily disperse like fresh plumes of smoke. Just as the atmospheric sounds seem to collapse in on themselves, trembling electronics give way to an eruption of razor-sharp synths. As the track builds and builds, it absorbs more and more energy as Ibbetson drives it to a frenetic finish.
There are warmth and fluidity to Ibbetson’s sound, with each musical idea afforded the time to roll into the next. Each track is a mini journey, with it impossible to predict the final destination. Every shift in tempo moves the track along to a whole new, previously unexplored place.
With washes of synths and idling beats, “Then There Was…” invites a little more time for reflection. With ambient, droning passages, Ibbetson creates a wonderfully evocative, comforting soundscape. As the crisp, metallic percussion and ringing synths kick in, the effect is like being roused from slumber by the call of an alarm that gradually breaches your consciousness.
The EP closes with the appropriately titled, “Goodbye”. Built around off-kilter, slightly discordant synths, it feels as if two separate songs are fighting for the same space. It’s dizzyingly effective as the synths and gently punched pads gradually evolve before splintering into a euphoric, rainbow of electronics.
Ibbetson’s second EP furthers his sonic vision to stunning effect. In some respects, the EP feels more fully formed than Rivals, with buds of electronics given time to flower until reaching full bloom gradually. Each track has its own, distinctive identity but together Control Yourself becomes a gloriously rewarding listening experience.