Tourist/Sleeper is the new double-EP by Jami Welch aka Seams, out on Full Time Hobby next week and now streamed at The Hype Machine, below. The first four tracks are a re-release of his 2010 EP “Tourist” on Pictures Music and are massively influenced by Gold Panda and Four Tet, and while a comparison to the two masters is unfair, it is impossible to ignore. The EP was made while Welch was new to Berlin, therefore the title, but there is still much more “England” in these tracks than there are Berlin sounds. The ambient tracks bubble along to background noises, glockenspiel and claps, and while beautiful, never develop the immediacy or the arc of suspense of Gold Panda’s builds, for example.
The other half of the release is quite different though. The first track of the “Sleeper”-part of the release, called “Glow”, is a good transition on the double-EP, as it is still mellow and ambient, but you feel the change at once. Welch suddenly works with a clear cut beat, short vocal samples and much more bass. The following “Potential” then is the best track on this release, dry and minimal in its setup, but warm in its execution. It is up there with the masters, if I may say so, and it put a huge smile on my face. But while “Potential” perfectly holds the balance, “Punch” tips it over to the other side by doing exactly what the title suggests – punching the bass. Great to dance to, but a bit much for me, sitting on my livingroom couch. This second EP closes nicely then with “The Long Wait”, making this release a much more worthwhile and interesting listen than the beginning was giving away.
So apparently Welch no longer is the tourist now and has soaked up some of the darker, more direct electronic music played in the Berlin scene. As I described in a review of his set in at Horst Krzbrg in Berlin recently, his new bass driven and compact tracks worked great in a live context. Seams has made a journey, it seems, and Tourist/Sleeper lets us take part in it.