Boomkat Product Review:
At long last, Manchester’s Sophie Wilson a.k.a Willow pays up on the promise of her Feel Me anthem with a prime solo debut proper in Workshop 23, matching those aching jazz-blues vocals with some of late summer ’16’s most nonchalant, enchanting house grooves.
Since first emerging as a DJ, and subsequently a producer with Summer Fling included on Eclair Fifi’s Fact Mix 408 and Move D’s inclusion of Feel Me on Fabric 74, it was the latter’s issue on the Workshop 21 compilation which piqued feverish interest around Willow’s low key, refreshingly minimalist and richly soulful take on classic deep house and ambient pop tropes.
With Workshop 23, she’s closely stuck to her guns, resisting the temptations of house music’s excesses in favour of a seductively lit and intimate sound carved from a classic yet up to date and innovative palette of sounds; whether she’s mixing Cassy-style choral percs with the kind of ambient digital menu effects favoured by Motion Graphics and James Ferraro in Untitled A1, or making canny use of roadside noise as a backdrop to the natty house blues meditation of Untitled A2.
But even when she leaves the vocal aside, Willow’s deft instrumental chops in the almost Balinese-sounding Untitled B1 are equally impressive in their own right, while it really all comes together in the faded, Sprinkles-style hustle of Untitled B2.
We hardly need to spell it out; this is a real gem! Warmest recommendations.