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Boomkat Product Review:
Small Black are commonly associated with the much blogged 'chillwave' movement that lays claim to artists like Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, and although they've since expanded to a quartet, and potentially a full-band sound, this expanded and remastered reissue of the act's debut EP captures Small Black as a bedroom-bound duo, fashioning ultra lo-fi, heavily hazed-over productions. The EP finds Ryan Heyner and Josh Kolenik compiling melodies from scrappy synths and vapourised cassette textures, using tiny and tinny drum machines along the way. So far, so Blank Dogs, but significantly, there are some really great little pop songs buried in here, and they're not so severely mulched up that you can't make out the band's considerable potential. Although the likes of 'Weird Machines', 'Kings Of Animals' and 'Bad Lover' have much to recommend them, opener 'Despicable Dogs' stands head and shoulders above the other tracks, and serves as a tantalising statement of intent - hopefully there's much more of this sort of material yet to come from the band, though you can't help but wonder how much of its magic comes from the grainy, trebly 'production' values, and consequently how much of this might be lost when the band get around to releasing more fully formed recordings. Fans of projects like Atlas Sound or Memory Tapes would do well to check this out. Recommended.