Fytch – Forest EP, A Mini Review
Stephane Lo Jacomo, known around the world as Fytch, stands at the forefront of the Netherlands’ EDM/dubstep scene – and he’s only 16 years old! Don’t let his age fool you; with a catalog of hits already under his belt, his productions show a musical maturity and an all around level of intelligence that many spend a lifetime pursuing (with varying degrees of success). Though artfully crafted, structurally sound, and in most cases, entirely awe-inspiring, the majority of Fytch’s work fits into the well established molds created by electronic legends past. That is no longer the case with Fytch’s Forest EP. Focussing his talents to breaking new ground as opposed to merely landscaping, Fytch’s latest release humbly calls for the attention that this well rounded artist so easily deserves.
Opening with the title track “The Forest,” the listener is instantly aware that they about to see the experimental side of Fytch. The introduction is ominous – it seems to illustrate a horde of oppressive trees closing in around you while you stumble further into the wooded labyrinth that is the Forest EP. As dark punches of sub bass and what seems to be a long, drawn out wobble enter the scene the forest comes to life in swaying, pagan rituals. Lightly peppered with an evil growl, siren, and broken chorus, this track is entirely sinister. Relief comes only at the end when a drum kit emerges to let one know that, though he may still be alive, he is far from out of the woods yet. Easily the most experimental track that Fytch has ever taken on, this track is both purposely simplistic and an instant classic.
Half way through the EP and things lighten up a little. With “Sanctuary of Thoughts” Fytch takes his first stab (as far my ears tell me, at least) at creating Drum & Bass. True to form, the most impressive element to this tune are the drums. Though they remain essentially constant throughout the track, they compliment the melody – now stuck in my head and being whistled constantly – perfectly. Also a great accompaniment to some 8-bit sampling, I picture this song as being the ideal sidekick to a game of Mario Kart. But, in order to keep with the forest theme, “Sanctuary of Thoughts” plays as a glen or clearing in our imaginary hinterland that is surrounded by wild confusion. Easily the sunniest of this EP’s three works, this track offers the listener (and our fictional lost traveler) a moment of introspection and a chance to catch his breath.
Due to the way the previous track fades out and the intensity of the opening of “Mirage,” the listener is forced to come to terms with the fact that the “Sanctuary” he had previously found was non existent. Still trapped by the forest’s arborous sentinels, but now with beasts at his heals, “Mirage” seems to detail a frenzied, final attempt at escape. The loudest and most intense track on The Forest, this should most easily appeal to the greater EDM-enjoying audience. Seemingly the most complex piece of music that Fytch has created to date, the only complaint that can be found here is that, at a little more than two minutes long, this song is tragically short – especially as after hearing it for the first time it instantly jumped to the top of my list of preferred Fytch tunes. The pure power and blatant variety of “Mirage” mean that it can easily speak for itself, but if I were to speak for it I would choose to call attention to Fytch’s work with the cymbals and hats on this one – this track (along with the EP overall) is home to some of the finest percussion work that I have yet to encounter on the electronic side of music.
Fytch’s Forest EP is currently available for purchase from the itunes music store and will be available on Bandcamp after January 25th. There is something for everybody in this young artist’s library of collections. Do Fytch a favor by purchasing the EP if you’re feeling it and checking out the rest of his music regardless; do us a favor by letting us know what you think and spreading the love.