Devereaux - Cacti Pace EP
Record Label: Post-Echo
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2012
Columbia, SC is about the last place one would expect to hear a record like Cacti Pace EP, but sure enough that is indeed the origins of this mesmerizing albeit eclectic release. So what's it sound like? Well, the best description for this debut effort is an amalgamation that combines pieces of Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Battles and Air and chocks it up into one pleasing cocktail. Devereaux is actually the stage name of W. Heyward Sims, a man who has a definitive pulse on melody and rhythm, while also overseeing a mastery of electro-machinated beats. The first song on Cacti Pace is the vibrant and summery "Perestroika," which features faint vocals and a wistful and sprite arrangement. To put it succinctly, the song is the sound of joy and exuberance and is as promising a start to any EP released this year.
Its successor, the pliant and punchy "Capri," features more of an urban soundscape and seems culled from the gritty byways of The Bronx or Queens. The EP's first apex moment is "NYXT" the EP's most commercial and accessible effort and also the longest. With a running time of 4:49, the song feels slightly proggy and also slightly indecipherable. That sense of mystery and wonder is what makes "NYXT" so damn compelling. Catci Pace's penultimate cut is "Sassafras," a splashy urban effort that almost has a Latino chill-wave groove. Complemented by a towering chorus and a soaring bridge, "Sassafras," is another home run for an artist who seems to do little wrong. The EP ends with "Espejo," another commercial and accessible effort that seems to point towards something truly promising.
And it is that last point that makes Cacti Pace so important. In an age when EDM is taking terrestrial radio by storm, Catci Pace mines for something deeper. Wholly avant-garde while still remaining catchy, relatable and refreshing, it is is effervescent and ebullient as anything that has come across this desk all year.