Hakim Murphy - Chiffre EP on Mindshift Records

Words by: Paul Corey
Posted: 20/11/13 8:38

Hakim Murphy makes house that is not of this world. Blending a distinctly futuristic approach with an almost obsessive attention to detail, the Chicago native pays homage to the music his hometown generously gave to the world while simultaneously going off on a variety of tangents. There is a subliminal quality to a lot of his output; something emphasised on each of the cuts here, each of which, in their own way, struggle to break free of a uniform soporific embrace.

This is no bad thing though, and isn’t necessarily a defining characteristic. The tunes themselves are each different enough to more than maintain a semblance of variety and interest. ‘Tegal E’ is perhaps the most striking track, with its bubbling bass and cosmic flourishes; it’s one of those pieces that feels familiar but totally original at the same time. DJ Spider, a sometime collaborator of Murphy’s, remixes ‘Nabodani’ and in doing so endows a respiratory beat with some vocal samples giving the composition a sinisterly kitsch ambience.

Mindshift’s boss, Murdo, shows a delicate touch with his revision of ‘Vatitio’. Again, the spoken word features heavily, but is utilised harmonically more than for dramatic effect.

Gangsta Glide’ shares some similarities with ‘Tegal E’, but the bass is more coherent and less prominent. Swathes of sound pass through in such a way as to sandwich the low end and there is a constant change of focus though which serves to disorientate.

What I can’t shake off is the feeling that I’ve heard this all before, but that would be a lie. Murphy’s music comes from through a looking glass, which feels familiar but is the portal through to a world of parallel beats and feelings. He’s everywhere at the moment, but absent at the same time.

Artist: Hakim Murphy
Title: Chiffre EP
Label: Mindshift Records

TracklistTegal ENabodani (DJ Spider Remix)Vatitio (Murdoc Remix)Gangsta Glide

Our rating: 7/10
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