Surprises come in small packages. In the case of the debut EP by UK based producer Nick Donovan, who goes by the moniker DEADBEAR, it was a surprise that was simultaneously small and full of infinite possibilities. The ‘Wabi Sabi’ EP is released on Art Is Hard records, a label mainly known for their catalogue of guitar-driven slacker rock. So, as you can imagine, this is exactly what I was expecting when I hit the play button. This is not what I got.
Instead, I was treated to five tracks of subtly textured, Far-East inspired electronic bleeps and beats interspersed with bursts of maximalist synth hooks. It’s an explosive collection of tracks building on the foundations the likes of Gold Panda and M83 laid back in 2010. But if ‘Wabi Sabi’ is anything to go by, DEADBEAR could just be the architect to build on those foundations and create something beautiful.
Listen to the ‘Wabi Sabi’ EP below, then go buy it from the Art Is Hard bandcamp page.