Atmospheric and tightly composed, Cloud Walk is a serene chill-hop album that perfectly captures the title of the EP; at times it really does feel like you’re audibly walking on clouds.
The album opens with “Dawn”, a lovely track that combines a soothing female vocal and a simple beat to immediately capture the essence of this EP. It’s mixed perfectly into “Dusk” too, which uses a simple rising chord with – what sounds like – a shamisen (Japanese guitar) to capture a very laidback Eastern-inspired vibe.
This track feels very much like a companion piece to the opener and the way these two tracks are harmonized together almost feels like two sides of the same coin.
From here, the album starts to take on a slightly different vibe, most notably with “Suncrown”, which features a collaboration with Axel Thesleff. The rising chords and pulsating drum beat rise up to almost hit that dubstep level of bass. The faint but very noticeable horn blasts work in tandem with the 8 note chord sequence to drown this out though, doing just enough to keep things suitably dark – and lo-fi.
“Memories” is about as close to a vocal track as you could get here, with a repeated phrase lined over the top of a simple chord structure. “Sacred” brings things back to that Eastern-influence from before while “Overgrown” slows the pace down for one final track to bow things out on a (chilled) high.
There’s no doubt that ESCPE’s EP is an impressive venture. The various worldly influences work really well against the chill-hop vibes and throughout the album I couldn’t help but feel an itch to explore more Asian culture and instrumental music. That’s not a fault of Cloud Walk though, in fact it’s quite the opposite. This is a lovely head-bopping EP that perfectly blends numerous influences together to create an excellent showcase of compositional skills.
“Dawn” and “Dusk” could very easily be one long track with a pause in the middle to switch the tone (like some of Enigma’s music back in the day) while “Suncrown” is the single collaborative effort here that takes things down a darker path. Even when Cloud Walk deviates it never strays, sticking firmly to chilled territory.
Whether you’re looking for an EP to study to or fancy something to pump through your headphones loud to get lost in your own headspace, Cloud Walk is a great option and there’s enough variety in these tracks to make for a pleasing 20 minute listen. I just wish the album was a little longer!
Cloud Walk was kindly sent from Gravitas Recordings ahead of release (20th November), you can check out more of their artists HERE!