Thanks to laptops and illegal file sharing, anyone can make semi-competent electronic music. But making electro that is powerful and, for what of a better word, meaningful, is a talent saved for a select few. seemingly out of nowhere, Samuel Howard has appeared, coming out of the box with a selection of 5 tracks of his own creation, each of them the kind of post-dubstep labyrinth of beauty that James Blake threatened to turn into an album before being seduced by the Hipster David Gray tag. There are no proper words in his work as Halls, but there need not be any – these are sounds and structures that do enough to move you by themselves, a deeper understanding hiding itself beyond all those intricate, glossy layers and loops.
He’s remixed Gold Panda, which is as good of a reference point as any – but these beats leave slightly more space and rely more on cold industriality that Derwin might have, whilst still retaining that same weight of understanding. There have been artists making similar points with similar themes and sounds for the past year, but not have managed it with the clarity and precision that Halls achieves. You can get far on effort alone, but when a genius like this comes along, the difference is crystal clear.