Late last month, downtempo artist Hydro Fyter (a.k.a. Steve Setzepfandt) released the first in his two-part release, Siblings. This marks his fourth release on SHady Ridge Records and it is a solid EP that is able to stand on its own. But, knowing that there will be a second part to it is definitely some exciting news.
The EP opens up with "Aqua Driver," a hypnotic track with a 303-esque bassline, some halfway to ambient melodies, and prominent rhythm with a snare that seems to slams through the mix without overshadowing the rest. This opener track essentially sets the theme for the rest of the EP as it switches back and forth between and melodic ambience that can be heard on the tracks "Absent Salt" & "On Edge," and the prominent beat-driven downtown of "Aqua Driver" & "Biopsy/Autopsy."
What is notable about the entire EP is the overall aesthetic being what Steve himself calls "dustier." This is a great way to put it, but there is more to it than just some faint static or a lo-fi filter. Really, this album feels like something pulled out of a long-distant memory. It's almost as if Hydro Fyter is trying to get us to remember something with him, but the memory isn't clear to him either. You can especially hear it in the prominent rhythms of the track. It sounds sort of like there is a certain amount of grit in the snare and kick that couldn't be polished out, even if it was attempted.
Overall, Siblings, Part 1 is an excellent EP that effectively combines Hydro Fyter's established style with a new aesthetic that calls to mind a bit of nostalgia. Not nostalgia in the sense of a collective reminiscence of the eighties in the vein of synthwave. Rather, it is a very personalized nostalgia that is expressed through fuzzy and dusty melodic content combined with a slight grit to the rhythms.