Esa & Mervin Granger – Anwaarding

Release Date: August 14, 2020
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Album Review

Esa Williams has made waves on plenty of fronts in the last few years, most notably through his live and studio work with Brian "Auntie Flo" D'Souza and his exploration of the music of South Africa, his homeland. This EP for London's More Music finds him reactivating another strand of his output—the hazy, house-focused Esa & Mervin Granger alias—and doing a predictably excellent job of it. Both originals follow naturally from his last outing under the name (2011's Luxarama single), with smooth, twinkling background elements and lush deep house textures predominating.

Both "Visum" and "Anwar 491" are hewn from similar stuff, with sedately paced kicks and interweaving layers of low notes laying a woozy base for twirling synth patterns. "Anwar 491"'s iteration of these ingredients, which takes blissful background pads, monolithic slabs of bass and twinkling effects and lifts them patiently into euphoric peaks, particularly caught my ear. Africaine 808's remix of "Visum" foregrounds spacey pads and distant brass, conferring a jazzy feel that reminded me of DJ Nature's recent Groovotica package. Dief & Baker rework of "Anwar 491," meanwhile, is a slow-build, nine-minute affair that adds multiple layers of modular synths, percussion and an echoing female vocal sample while retaining the original's luxuriant qualities.
- Resident Advisor - 4.0/5