Philip Budny - Shades Of Blue - Aronia
Philip Budny’s trajectory has been hallmarked by entrancing, danceable lullabies on discerning labels such as Coastal Haze, Lionoil Industries and most recently, Let’s Play House. ‘Shades of Blue’ feels like the natural evolution of an artist who has been meticulously carving out his own distinctive mellow sound. By showcasing a progression into more astral, melancholy textures, Budny delivers his most accomplished and personal record to date.
Sheer musicality and blissed-out brilliance is evident from the get go with ‘5459’, which hisses and swings with the sort of expansive drum programming and breathy pads with which Budny has become synonymous. ‘Belfast’ sounds like HNNY at his most masterful. With its ethereal live instrumentation, it provides the perfect palette for a truly reflective and introspective piece of house music that builds into a marvelously layered crescendo.
The warm, fuzzy ‘Moritzplatz, 2013’ feels like a reassuring lullaby, and closer to a Mac DeMarco track than what you’d expect from a typical house release. ‘Shades of Blue’ is a more dancefloor ready track, invigorating and perhaps subtly inspired by some of the textures of one of Phil’s longtime friends, Telfort. ‘Still Beating’ shifts the pace once more, settling calmly into a soothing 2 step rhythm. The deeply personal ‘Take Care’ is a luscious experimental track that would fit perfectly in a vintage Aphex Twin set. ‘Too Late To Turn Back Now’ - a goosebump-inducing, soothing number - feels on par with the very best Smallville releases from the early 2010s.
We’ve all heard of Business Techno taking over the interwebs, but it could be argued that Workplace Spotify Deep House is an even more banal beast. ‘Shades of Blue’ is a beacon of hope. This ambitious, assonant record from the Berlin-based maestro will undoubtedly spur on his contemporaries and admirers to level up in the best way possible.
On this record, Budny gives us all hope in uncertain times with a slice of the best kind of house music possible - melodic and timeless. It is laced with an afterglow that sticks with you long after the record stops spinning.