Hibernation: Second Nature

hiber_secondI will tell you honestly that I lost track of the number of times a track would pop up on my shuffling iPod and give me an “ooh yeah” reaction with some smooth groove or drop or just a cool liquid flow and I’d check to see who it was and which disc and yet again, it was Hibernation’s Second Nature. So imagine what happened when I finally sat down and totally dove into it. Yeah, I’m on a little bit of a sonic contact high right now, my head delightfully overdosed on chill. UK-based composer/producer Seb Taylor launches this set of downtempo pieces to skip along from the the familiar keyboard sounds of the classic “chillout room” music of the 90s through glitch and on into jazz-laced IDM. These tasty five- and six-minute snaps come, speak their peace, and leave it to the next one. The lazy rhythm, near-dubsteppy bass and sexy glissandos of “Plastics,” lightly glazed with vocal samples from Natasha Chamberlain,  readily make way for the chopped-and-diced keyboard drop-ins and snappy jazz drumming of “Unknown Elements,” which is every bit as pleasingly jagged as its counterpart was silky. The warble and wobble of “Knowledge and Spirit,” with its  jazz-combo rhythm section that sometimes lets fly with dub-style echoing rimshots, Return to Forever flute and lowdown dirty trumpet from Vicky Flint, not to mention more super-chewy, undulating bass, drops you off in the glitch-and-flow of “Dreamstep.” Here you get a nice mix of a slow-played chord melody set alongside high-speed glitch riffs. Fast and slow share space in pure electro-harmony. “Lysenko’s Plan” is an ideal mating of lounge tempo, dub bass lines, and a floating New Age essence captured on flute. Listening to Second Nature is like having one perfect cocktail handed to you, and just as you’re coming to the end of savoring one, you’re handed yet another, different, and still perfect cocktail. Don’t worry–you can sip these sonic concoctions all night and be left with nothing but a sense of cool, happy euphoria. This disc is about as loop-worthy as they come. The “ooh yeahs” are on me, and Seb Taylor is setting us up all night long.

Available from Interchill.

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