By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Earlier this year, Ross Edman, once better known in the music community as mashup artist Objektiv One, released Slowdrifter, his full-length 40-minute debut under his new name, Datahowler, and new sonic direction. The mostly instrumental affair received positive feedback all around, pegged as sounding vintage and futuristic all at once for its clever combination of jazz and electronic influences.
Passengers As Eggs, Datahowler's quick six-song follow-up, clocks in at just more than 17 minutes, and, as with the first release, this collection toys with ambient synths, organic instruments and hip-hop beats. Sonically, it weaves in and out of space-fi soundscapes, and each track is its own separate entity. And that's kind of a problem. Edman fails to establish a common thread throughout the EP, and, even through some of the songs the tracks stagger along awkwardly. Wobbly and off-kilter beats just sort of lazily wallop against lukewarm melodies that never reach a melodic supernova.
But some tracks are more hook-heavy than what we're used to from Datahowler, which is a nice change of pace. A high point comes in the form of "Sturdy Tent," which sounds like it could be a James Murphy throwaway with its sparkling synths shimmering over a steady — but not staggering — beat. It's the most melodic track on the EP.
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