Serpent Grail / Sosen Yahn is the intoxicating new double A-side from Bristol-based duo Ekcle. Independently released, the two songs "Serpent Grail" and "Sosen Yahn" mark an exciting turn in Ekcle's musical progression towards more experimental trip-hop. Notably, the glitch production elements in the dual-single borrow influence from the worthy likes of Four Tet and Flying Lotus.
"Serpent Grail" begins with shimmering pads and swelling synth melodies before gentle percussion takes over in anticipation of a future-bass drop. The crescendo is met with trip-hop programming where the euphoric climax reminds us of the serpent-worshipping cult from the ancient world that this track shares a name with. However, such mutually utilised phrasing may be in-deliberate, as Ekcle share: ""Serpent Grail" represents the birth of a new seed, life that grows and flourishes throughout the course of its lifespan".
Where "Serpent Grail" represents birth, "Sosen Yahn" represents expiry and rebirth. Ekcle comment, "Sosen Yahn presents the seed as it reaches the end of its cycle, as it withers away ready to be born again". Ekcle divulge this renewal with a slow, considered piano introduction before igniting an explosion of glockenspiel, bass and whispering vocals. Evidently, Ekcle have a penchant for playing with textures and tension, as the cinematic suspense built before the drop makes it all the more worthwhile.
Moreover, the interdependence between the movement in the two tracks is both pertinent and purposeful. Ekcle comment:
"We wanted to explore the concept of duality: painting two pieces that were thematically and sonically tethered and reiterating the notion that one cannot exist without the other".
While the duplexity in these inextricably woven pieces is germane, the most exciting element of this double A-side is the sheer chaos of the climaxes. The zeniths are marked by infectious snare rolls, arpeggiating bass-lines and playful glockenspiel melodies while blurring the lines between trip-hop and electronica. Ekcle's trajectory of sound signifies an exciting shift for both the duo and the future of electronic music.