Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
It's late summer right now. We're almost into September and we think we should be getting into the clear, moving into those crispier days of tailgating, hayrack riding and pumpkin and ghord picking, but there's always one more run of days where the nastiness of summer stops you in your tracks. It's one of those weeks where, when you step outside, it's like you're stepping into a bathroom where a steamy shower had just taken place. The humidity reaches out to grab you like a kid dressed up like an axe murderer does in a haunted house. Without even being able to see it, you can feel it - the suffocating presence of hands, of thick, pushy air. It greases up your forehead and opens up your pores, letting all your water start leaking out like a cracked oil pan.
The Hackney, East London, band SPLASHH gives you the feeling that you're someplace where the air conditioner doesn't work. It's a place where the air conditioner hasn't worked for years. It's punched into the old wall over there, but no one even tries to turn it on anymore. It should be cut out and patched over, but that's just too much work. The sounds that SPLASHH makes don't lead you to believe that there would be any laborious aspirations in the bunch. The songs on this session are awash with such a leisurely feel that you'd be alarmed to see them anywhere before the middle of the afternoon. They are smothered in reverb - the kind of reverb that thickens around you, like muscle to a bone.
SPLASHH exhibits a kind of antipathy that you can drink in, that you can assume in the right circumstances. These are youthful odes to what it means exactly to be faced with odds and given few hints about how to crack or flip them. They're about numbness and some kind of cautious optimism. They seem to be coming from young men who feel that there is absolutely no hope, but that this doesn't mean that they can't think that it's going to get better - or different - at some point.