Words: Colin Brownbill
Long term readers of SynthGlasgow will know that Salvador Navarrete aka Sega Bodega has been on quite a journey since he uploaded his first demos to Soundcloud some seven years ago. Even then it was evident that the young producer had some radical ideas – ready to turn genres inside out with productions which were both musically brilliant and satisfyingly abstract.
With only a handful of releases in his back catalogue, the producer clearly favours quality over quantity, and we don’t mind waiting. Following his weird and wild ‘Sportswear’ EP on Activia Benz in 2015, the future-facing producer is back with what is perhaps his most intoxicating work to date.
Landing on London label, Crazylegs, ‘Ess B’ finds Sega Bodega pushing forward with daring confidence. As soon as you press play on the EP’s intro you know something special is about to happen – stirring strings and cinematic drum rolls give way to thundering beats with a truly widescreen impact. It quickly becomes apparent that this is just the calm before the storm however, as the screaming, razzing onslaught of ‘NSFW’ arrives without warning, revving-up a buzzing bassline which sounds like the inside of hornet’s nest.
Shygirl does an impressive job of harnessing this hellish energy on ‘CC’, delivering a paranoid vocal over warping bass and stabbing synths. “Didn’t mean to fuck this whole thing up, should have kept my mouth shut”, she whispers as we spiral out of control.
‘Bush Baby’ provides comparative calm after the nerve-shredding experience of the previous two tracks, with delicate, twinkling keys drifting over juddering beats and mesmerising atmospherics, while the EP's closer, ‘Strings In April’, is a dazzling sea of texture and emotion, ebbing and flowing like waves lapping on an isolated beach.
Sega Bodega remains one of Glasgow's most intriguing and inventive producers, and 'Ess B' is yet further proof of his artistic capabilities. Pushing boundaries and operating in his own musical spectrum, he produces dazzling results, and as always, we're left wanting more.