Youandewan is the musical alias of Ewan Smith, a Berlin-based DJ and producer hailing from Yorkshire whose tracks range from dancefloor diamonds to intimately intricate cuts. Following his debut EP ‘Scarlett’ (2006), Youandewan has crafted a myriad of diverse releases that marry the intangible tyranny of club night mixes with crooning melodies and sonic subtlety.
Here are five handpicked tracks to let you in on what you’ve been missing:
Be Good To Me Poly (2016)
A percussive round that teases a sub-standard song around the corner mutates into a synth driven slice of electronic eden. The winds and bends in ‘Be Good To Me Poly’ resist any command from the listener, instead transforming into a perplexing pyramid of sounds that layer onto one another to form the formidable structure of the track.
What You Mean (2013)
The characteristic percussive introduction makes the transition between the tracks in this collection seamless, as if links in a chain, each slightly unique but nonetheless joined expertly with their co-parts. ‘What You Mean’ is no exception. The almost muted subtlety of the vocals intersperse between the broken beats, inviting you to listen in a little closer until you’ve been swallowed into the swell of an ocean current controlled by Youandmeewan’s sonic grip.
A crowd favourite comes in the form of ‘1998’, the original mix from 2009 warranting a re-release in 2011. The muted intro beats are like familiar ringtones coming from an old phone trapped between some sofa cushions, but after 30 seconds, the melodic chimes which layer over the beats instantly transport you to the bustling streets of Berlin at dusk. The persistent underbeat drops out midway through only to revive stronger and smoother in the latter part of the track, creating a perfect equilibrium which makes ‘1988’ a masterpiece in Smith’s collection.
This single from his EP ‘Meet Me at Teufelsberg’ gently encourages you to release your inhibitions as the driving tempo lulls you onto the dancefloor. Ranging from a reverb to a techno-riff, these interwoven sounds meld into the track almost unnoticed, as if a secondary sound from your environment is slicing in between his soundwaves as the music and the moment become one.
At eight and a half minutes, this track from his EP ‘Disarray’ may seem a daunting listen, but the gradual growth that takes place each minute makes it feel like you’ve been invited into the booth, allowed to watch Youandewan as he infuses another vocal in between the chiming sounds that land on blanketed percussion. On its own, the track would be the dream to mix with. The effortless ease and final fade gifts you a meditative moment where your brain can only focus on the magic that’s taking place between the beats.
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Image courtesy of XLR8R.