Given that Hashtag IRL, House of Silk's opening track here is a discourse on the pervasive cultural enervation that is social media, at Contact Towers naturally the first thing we did was look it up on You Tube. Bathed in irony, the comments section does far more to underscore the track's conceptual themes than the two minutes and change of cut-up, idiom-friendly shorthand and basic beatery itself. Swiftly moving from snobbery around the perceived in-house cool of the Ninja Tune label on which it's released, it descends into a pointless - but amusing - tit for tat on its merits or otherwise, all hotly undertaken by strangers who will never meet.
Throwing Shade is the one-woman vehicle of Nabihah Iqbal, a producer with letters after her name, which may explain some of Hashtag IRL's back story. Regardless of the execution, those anonymous commentators prove however that art remains truly in the eye of the beholder, it's subjectivity being the root of it's worth and the reason for its very existence.
Having got off to such an in/auspicious start it's a let-down however that much of the rest of House of Silk's quintet of tunes is far less stimulating, albeit in the vein of pleasant but undemanding dream-pop. Within these narrowed parameters the vaguely Eastern influenced Ecco Echo, Underneath My Eyelids' waxed, soulful rush and Fear of Silence's nineties-nodding ambience are all perfectly effective, if a little rudimentary. The pick of this bunch is the floaty Marble Air, a set of gentle pulses which undulate rather than reckon dancing, echoes and almost-house sketched in delicate charcoals.
Music is still the one thing most of us can elevate out of our diffidence from to still become passionate about: having discovered a provocative take, Iqbal should have arguably run with it just for the damnation of seeing where it took her. Instead, House of Silk is 20% OMG, 80% Bang Average. IMHO.
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