Vincent de Azevedo, aka Darwin, follows up his hard hitting single, ‘Slap’, with
this highly anticipated four track knock out EP. The Frenchman offers up a volley of bold, energetic cuts that effortlessly complement the title track, all to form his most defining and forward thinking release to date.
‘Slap’ has instantly earned a reputation as an exquisite slow motion dancefloor cut, laced with grinding textures and howling lead synth lines. With a combination of straight pounding beats and a chorus inflected with Dancehall breaks and rattling triplet basslines, the song also acts as a vessel for Darwin’s own frustration. As the chords rise during the verses, so we hear the intensity in his voice and lyrics climb with it.
Following the title track is ‘My Weakness’ featuring emerging rapper Corey. A serene melody plays over rounded 808 kicks, whilst Corey’s laid back vocals bounce effortlessly over this surreally soothing second track. Adding to the distinct shift in mood, Darwin’s voice returns to us a honeyed resurrection of its former self, weaving a blissful atmosphere of nonchalance around the already wonderfully lethargic instrumental. Darwin’s innovative flare as a producer is displayed as he bridges the track into its final chorus with a chaotic broken beat, reminiscent of a classic Kaytranada rhythm. Sparkling piano counter melodies dot the closing bars of the songs, adding to the understated euphoric feel that is so clearly prevalent in this particular track.
For many the prospect of covering Rae Sremmurd’s modern classic ‘Black Beatles’ is one that would have them cowering in fear. Not so for Darwin. With the help of rapper Hmcee Da Duke, Vincent crafts a unique electro pop version that pays homage to the original in a way that only he could. His unmistakable voice creates a phenomenal sense of space, as it trickles through the cracks between glitched out synth replica melodies. French MC Hmcee Da Duke, brings a new set of vocals, with his confident drawl lending an unexpected energy and ominous tone to this masterful cover song.
Already racking up over 100k plays on SoundCloud, and boasting an impressive 20k plays on Spotify, ‘It Hurts’ is the powerful closing track to this superb EP. Luxurious arpeggiators cruise over a swaggering, classic hip hop rhythm, whilst pitched vocals soar and dive between the side chained chord stabs and racing hi hats. Darwin’s own vocals play a minimal but integral part in this unorthodox love song. It is a perfect end to an infectious and uniquely Darwinian release.
The Kitsuné affiliate’s creative ethos may claim to stem from the reclusive darkness of the city, but ‘Slap’ is doubtless the catalyst for Darwin’s rise from the shadows to his place as a true Apex electronic icon.