3 tracks (07:48)
By Sean-Michael Yoder
On UK producer Manon Dave’s previous single “The Op”, he showed off his skills as a cutting edge underground dance music producer. But he’s also a renowned pop music producer and remixer and on the Trinity EP he reveals his skill as a modern composer. The three-track EP fuses classical, world beat, and electronic sounds together in way that even Dave himself calls unexpected. For an artist who has tasted the success that Dave has, it is refreshing to hear him out on a limb here, not in a bad way, but with a sense of purpose; searching – like Miles Davis in the Seventies – for the perfect sound regardless of genre classification.
“Stones” announces the EP with brassy horn shouts, played legato these long phrases that could never be achieved by any human counterparts. There is certainly a strong electronic feel to this piece but with subtle classical shadings found in the muted string accompaniment and the counterpoint to the original melody that springs up during the last third of the song. It’s unusual to find a studio wizard with such innate musical sense even as the slightest of rhythmic cadences and sly bass thumps creep in to this composition that almost give away Dave’s dance floor pedigree. Compared to his last single, “The Op”, it is hard to believe this is the same guy and that’s just fine.
The Russian-sounding motif of “The Flood” is perfectly suited for its overall cinematic quality –as if it had been lifted from an old Cold War era propaganda film series ala James Bond. The stately process of strings is mysterious and a bit chilly, almost impenetrable to the ear, but again the melodies are warm and inviting just like on “Stones” creating a minute hint of tension that make this song a very interesting listening experience.
Subcontinental and Eastern Asian influences set the mood for the EP closer, “Awakening”. The long, breathless pauses and echoing reverb recall the best elements of chill out music- part ambient and part edgy late night antidote after a long weekend of clubbing. Dave hits all the right notes on this contemplative piece comprised of melancholic plucked string notes lingering mournfully in the ether before coming gently to rest. It is quite an achievement; the same can also be said for this EP.