William Arcane ‘Reckless’
It’s inevitable than London producers of a certain genre are all conglomerated together on shambling, rainy-day playlists; a misty, greyscale, sleepless circle of familiar sub-bass loops. Enter WILLIAM ARCANE on the cusp of his second EP, which may very well be his breakthrough.
‘Reckless’, the title track, is not dissimilar to what we’ve already heard from Arcane in the past but in this case, a little bit of sweetness helps the medicine do gown: still hooky, still wavy, but just a little bit bittersweet.
It’s familiar and, at the same time, it isn’t. Weaved throughout the dull thump of the bass-line and the sullen, sulking vocals is a dreamy vibrancy that Arcane hasn’t shown in previous releases, like a ray of sunshine breaking through heavy clouds. The track blooms in peaks and troughs, leaning heavily on flourishing layers of complex, opulent sound punctuated by moments of melancholy silence.
Technically-speaking, he’s stepped up from what we heard on his first EP, ‘Reflected’, to focus on using acoustic sounds through analogue synthesizers instead of plug-ins. His commitment shows in the composition, with tenderly arranged layers forming an ambling sound that’s deep and rich. Most impressive is that Arcane’s shown remarkable restraint on this track, leaving in just enough imperfection to give the track an earthiness that could have easily been lost in over-production, but stripping away enough to ensure the flow of the track is never stilted or stifled.
From beginning to end, this is a track that’s entrancing and hypnotic. Given its unique blend of subtlety and richness, it’s easy to see why Arcane’s been getting props from Jamie xx and SOHN, with killer collabs coming left, right and centre. ‘Reckless’ will be released on Pictures Music October 20th; undoubtedly, it’ll be a precursor to big things.
Words by Cheryl Billman.