Somewhere beyond the mesocosm that encompasses James Blake and the see-you-again-never genre of mashup lies Supreme Cuts' otherwordly R&B 10″, Trouble. Heady female vocals are sampled and carried by pulsating drums, clicks, synths and shadows that make Trouble the newest cut to reinvigorate the disillusioned puddle that is today's R&B. Its gristling and coy, yet undeniably sexy; Trouble hints at doing the dirty in the bathroom of the bar but only unleashes its rampant animalistic nature and overpowered sex drive after a few dates. Unlike many current propagators of R&B, Supreme Cuts build their beats on back stories of samples rather than laying it all out on the table with obvious innuendos and typical, climactic progressions.
Opener “Amnesia” flirts with the concept of mashup only in its compilation of what could be pleading, needing, and lusty ladies sampled atop one another to sound like a champagne room private party of the future. The track takes a breather around 2/3 of the way, a moment of air until it continues full throttle only to finish with a bass drop supporting an exasperated sigh.
City-sounds carry “Months” as Supreme Cuts takes it from the bar to the city, with enough fleeting echoes and piano tinkling to evoke the image of scaling the fire escape leading straight to the bedroom. Voices weave in and out, bouncing off of each other and through what seems to be aluminum.
Trouble continues to take R&B a few dimensions higher with B-side “Fools”. The track begs for a freestyle to match its underrated energy that is carried by chopped and layered vocals lying at its base. While the closing track “Issues” deals with multiple personality disorder (in a good way). The moans mix with a slower, darker synth line accented by various interjections of heavy drums. Equal attention is given to the male and female vocals being cut in, balancing off of each other rather than fighting with the track's other elements.
To say Supreme Cuts are riding the wave of instrumental hip-hop would only be the truth; but, their debut 10″ shows the future of R&B as something subtley sexy, perhaps even conservative, in nature. Gone are the days of feeling like a scumbag for even listening to a track, cheers to a time of sonic exploration. Trouble is out now on Small Plates Records and can be found here.