Published Feb 07, 2019At this point, Shanti Celeste and Hodge (real name Jacob Martin) are hardly newcomers to electronic music. Each is a prolific purveyor of Bristolian electronica, and each has their own distinct flair that they effect with poise and intent. Here, Soba Dance represents a middle ground for two similar yet distinct artists.
Like the noodles themselves, the record is quite clearly crafted by experts. Each sound occupies a distinct place, and arrangements are perfect in the context of a DJ set. The titular track excels in its novel rhythmic programming, and Hodge-esque synthetic quirks. The bass line in "Alula" is immediately infectious, acting as the main driver in the six-minute runtime. Finally, "Pips" rounds out the EP on a moment of sentiment, with grand synthesizer orchestration and bird foley sounds lushly ending the project.
It is clear that Celeste and Martin work well together as a duo, with effective arrangements and synthetic unorthodoxy aplenty. The main caveat would be that Soba Dance doesn't highlight either of the artists' strengths to their fullest, acting as somewhat of a compromise. Nevertheless, to have this strong of a debut for a brand new project can only bode well. (Peach Discs)