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Live Review: Feel everything on Hi Tom's debut five track EP, 'u'

12 October 2018 | 3:54 pm | Holly O'Neill

Across his new EP HI TOM navigates the spectrum of love at his most grand scale yet, matching huge percussion with delicate thoughtful melody.

International signee to NLV Records, HI TOM has just dropped his debut EP u through the imprint. The producer pushes his emotive production into the extreme across five tracks, bringing his club ready skills into a cinematic scope. Drums reverberate under delicate melodies, as the juxtaposition of grand intensity and sweet simplicity across the release paints a picture of the full spectrum of the feeling of love.

Frequent collaborator LUVOCEAN features on two collaborations on the release, his robotic voice bringing a RnB flavour to tracks that lend their inspiration from the emo rap renaissance and top 40 trap crowd pleasers. 'Vi' flips the polish of the vocals with wavering melodies and grubby bass hits that are so intense they push speakers to their extremes. Luvocean's paired back delivery oddly matches the grandness of the soundscapes, especially in the more stripped down track 'Off' where twittering synth loops enhance the vocal melody and dance above an deceptively intricate drum machine.

In his vocal collaborations he explores his own take on established genres, but it's on u's instrumentals where Hi Tom really creates his own world of sound. On tracks like 'RAMP UP' his composition can take up as much space as it needs too, as interlocking guitar melodies, a string section and jittery metallic samples weave together in a reverb laden dream. Across the EP his knack for percussion and synthesis is more than clear but none clearer than on the track 'Fine', where noise heavy drums overwhelm in playful patterns over hazy melodies. Closing the EP is the most experimental track of the bunch 'Melting', where a vocal loops repeats as the pattern of scattered percussion and soothing strings build and grow and explore every possible iteration.

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Across 'u', intimate melodies and sweet sounds are contrasted with huge drums and swelling soundscapes matching that feeling of the tiniest gestures meaning so much when you're in love. The five tracks soundtrack these colossal feelings in intricate detail, as Hi Tom translates his gorgeous composition and specific musicality into its most grand scale yet.

You can find Hi Tom's debut EP u, out now through NLV Records, available to stream and download right here.