Quade share experimental cut ‘Spiral II’, a lesson in fruitful minimalism.

Words: Fil Pollara

A long train ride beckons one night – the plan being to sit, forget ills and delve into this new Quade tapestry that I was lucky to get an early listen of.

Naturally, said writer forgets his headphones. Relatable disaster, but for once it didn’t matter. Why? Because with speaker-to-ear, as the lights flicker around my silhouette in an empty, jolting carriage deep underground, the unyielding tension of ‘Spiral II’ binds in a way I haven’t felt since listening to an Emerald Web compilation.

It’s the repetitive, near-hip-hop strut of drums and bass – not to mention the lyrical interventions of foreboding – which renders one unable to let go of this track. Experimental music is a wonderful beast – but beast it is – because it needs to be tamed. Otherwise it gets saturated and the listener drifts.

That’s what makes this piece all the more impressive from the Bristol quartet. Because there’s structure – knowing how and where to sacrifice contributions of different parts because they have the holistic vision for how the whole song should play out, all within five minutes. No wonder they’re sharing bills with Katy J Pearson and Squid.

I trust they’re signed up to a Sync agency, too. Because the next video game set in a dystopia (think brogues plodding on muddy street puddle as the opening cutscene begins) will be after this track.