The Arch Cupcake | Wash Out EP (Patriarch)

cd_arch-cupcake.jpgStraddling the line between IDM and NYC beats comes the physical release of a hidden gem.






Originally released as download-only in late 2007, The Arch Cupcake’s Wash Out EP looks in hand how you’d imagine a small-label album to appear; monochromatic art in a simple two-fold cardboard jacket with barebones information printed in the usual space. Not awful, but maybe underwhelming. Nothing that would lead you to believe that this is the solo work of one of the strongest up-and-coming minds in music right now.

The Arch Cupcake is one man, Fredrick Sargolini, a New York-based producer whose discography stems not only from his late teens, but over various genres and talents. The Wash Out EP stands to show his proficiency as both producer and musician, tricky territory for some, but for Sargolini it seems effortless. The sound and vibe is pure contemporary NYC style, echoing not just the regional hip-hop scene but his own influences and past work.

What sets this EP apart is the way a lot of familiar elements are approached with a twist from the norm. Scratches and vocal samples are used to great effect, but this is not your typical workstation and MPC-heavy sort of deal, as Sargolini forgoes any mystical E-MU or Akai samplers and crate-digging for most of his instrumentation. This allows for great movement around set pieces, something other beat masters struggle with.

While this comes off as a great bit of progress from his earlier work in Ming+FS, The Wash Out EP is definitely held back the EP concept. By the time you get to the last track proper, "Wasabi", a fun retro style song that seems perfect in boutiques, you find yourself wanting more. Then again, it’s hardly in a producer’s interest to put all of his top shelf ideas in a solo release. B | Bryan J. Sutter

RIYL: Blockhead, DJ Signify, Boom Bip

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