EP Review: Tansuri – Tutara Peak

2020 was a major year for the UK-based duo Ekcle. Their brand of classy halftime neurofunk proved to be extremely popular among both fans and critics alike, and they even got the opportunity to do a remix for DJ Shadow, one of the all-time greats in electronic music. As a result, it came as a bit of a surprise in the beginning of 2021 when the duo announced that they were going their separate ways and embarking on solo endeavors—it seemed like they were right at the beginning of their prime and they had nowhere to go but up. However, the group’s members thought differently and felt like they were stagnating, so they decided to get off to a fresh start individually.

For Harvey Carter, who took on the moniker Tutara Peak, this is a two-fold fresh start. Around the time he joined Ekcle, he was also making drum and bass under the name Parallax but put that on the backburner once the group started taking off. His official debut as Tutara Peak was “Daydream”—a collaboration released in April 2020 with a few like-minded artists that was released for charity.

Looking back, it ended up being a solid indicator of things to come on his debut EP Tansuri. The project opens with “Cloud Construct,” an atmospheric-sounding introductory song that seamlessly transitions into the garage-inspired “Light Fills the Room,” a collaboration with Dutch producer Zes that serves as one of the EP’s highlights.

One of my favorite touches on this project as a whole is that each song flows continuously into the next—this album has an influence of classical music permeating throughout, and each song feels a bit like a movement. “Ember” serves as the only vocal-driven track, and he managed to get Lou Rhodes of legendary electronic duo Lamb to add some serious credibility to this project. Her singing is magnificent, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that song being a breakout success. “Atom Surrexi” and “Motion in the Shadows” manage to pick up the pace a bit from there, particularly in those songs’ second halves where some brilliant drum work is showcased.

Concluding the project is “Shapes Over the Moorlands,” a song that starts off very mellow that keeps building layers until it reaches sort of a cinematic quality—a perfect ending to one of the most ambitious debut projects in electronic music in quite some time. It’s clear that Harvey Carter knew exactly what he was capable of under Tutara Peak following the conclusion of Ekcle, and judging from Tansuri, the sky is the limit.

Follow Tutara Peak on Spotify.

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