Kirk Spencer – Wonderland EP
Originally published in LeftLion magazine.
For his first EP release since The Shanghai Underground in 2011, Kirk Spencer has teamed up with three local singers, for a five-track offering that combines bassy, mostly downtempo, sometimes trap-inspired beats with atmospheric, richly worked arrangements that cast a bewitching spell. There are still a few trademark Eastern touches – a sitar here, a chant there – but these are no longer the most dominant components of Kirk’s sound. Instead, on lead track Kukcu, Safia May invokes the dreamy tone which characterises the EP: “Where do you go when you close your eyes?” Louis Scott takes over for A Kid, an initially unhurried meditation (“nowhere to go, but it doesn’t matter”) which is accelerated by the arrival of a benignly twinkling, almost EDM-style synth riff. Long-time collaborator Marita also returns for the brooding yet affirmative Life On The Island, which pits her prayer for survival against icy swirls and ominous bass thuds.