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Dogger & Mindstate – The Time Is Yours EP // Review

Man, do Dogger & Mindstate know how to do intros. When a release starts with over two minutes worth of crashing symbols, pensive chords and slow burning brass accents you know this is going to be some serious soul business. Welcome back boys!  

It’s been over a year since their debut Broken Home EP, and you get the feeling that they’re purposefully teasing us just a little bit longer with this extended flex of musical finesse.  But damn do they do it well.   

Mindstate, Dogger & Liam Bailey looking well pissed off about missing the 142 to town

We’re gently eased into the build of the title track by Liam Bailey’s unmistakable vocals which soon soar to a crescendo as the splashy breaks and rumbling bassline kick in. From here, the rise and fall of the hypnotic keys and somber strings act as a beautiful yet considerate backdrop to Bailey’s crooning. And it’s these vocals that guides us through to the end of this seven-minute epic.  

Fans of Broken Home will already know that Dogger & Mindstate have a knack for producing tunes which provide space for the vocals to take center stage which is why their continuing collabs with Bailey work so well; the power and soul of Bailey’s voice is as important to this record as the drums.

That said, second track ‘Don’t Hurt Me’ is the only tune to switch up the vocals completely and it’s no worse off for it. This time it’s Dogger’s fellow Mancunican [ K S R ] picking up the mic whilst The North Quarter’s Anile also lends his hand to the production. This is another stripped back offering that starts with emotive keys and snappy drums before the thundering bassline drops to give some serious weight to the otherwise delicate tune. Again, the soft warblings and smooth hooks of [ K R S ] are given the room they deserve.  

It might just be a sign that I’m missing the rave too much but I actually had to do what I’m now calling ‘the SoundCloud pullup’ the first time I heard D&M’s remix of You Saw the Devil in Me. This tune is, quite simply, a fucking banger. Moody yet catchy melody? Check. Skank worthy energy? Check. Guest vocals from the absolute don that is DRS? CHECK. Everything from the dark, 80s-esque synth pads to the spiralling sub-boom has been crafted perfectly and it had me doing some serious facial acrobatics. Those of you who are far cooler than me might find this tune’s flirtation with a commercial song structure a bit of a turn off, but I ain’t got time for that if it gets in the way of appreciating a tune that totally slaps.  

You know the levels are gonna be high when you’ve got a pro skateboarder on production. Just don’t ask him where the name ‘dogger’ came from, OK?

DRS returns on closing track ‘Holding Back’. His trademark bars are a welcome addition as the EP plays out as the sound is otherwise becoming a little over familiar by now. Don’t get me wrong, the textured arrangements and entrancing chords are still nuanced and skilled but they’ve started to lose some of their initial punch by the time we reach track four. 

Ultimately though, The Time Is Yours is another first-rate addition to Perez’ forward-thinking 1985 Music roster. If you like your liquid blissed-out yet wistful (and let’s face it, who doesn’t) then don’t sleep on this one.  

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