Kelly Lee Owens: Oleic


Kelly Lee Owens

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  • Release Date 21 October 2016
  • Sorry Sold Out
12" Vinyl
Smalltown Supersound

Without knowing it, you've probably heard Kelly Lee Owens' work over the past few years: the 27-year-old London producer contributed vocals and writing to several tracks on fellow UK techno wizard Daniel Avery's debut LP, 2014's Drone Logic, and she's made waves with a pair of limited-release 12" singles showcasing her gifts for spectral, hallucinatory pop. On Oleic, her debut release on Smalltown Supersound, Owens flexes her considerable muscle as a dance producer with four luscious, deeply satisfying slices of big-room electronic music.

If previous single "Arthur" tugged at the threads of expansive house music, then Oleic finds Owens fully immersed in cavernous bass, circuitous melodical phrasing, and intricately textured synths. "C.B.M." wanders ominously through a thicket of rushed snares and distant synths, with Owens' vocal incantations occasionally emerging through the fog. Oleic's title track is ecstatic club fare, an endless loop doing swan dives around a patient, sturdy backbeat.

On the B-side, Owens' remix of Norwegian avant-musician Jenny Hval's "Kingsize" provides an experiment in the use of negative space, turning Hval's original into a propulsive, handclap-dotted journey with a few synth squiggles here and there that provide jarring bursts of color.

Oleic closes with a throwback to the days of Midwestern acid with the aptly named "Elliptic," all crisp drums and stuttering vocal samples with acid's signature squelches just close enough to touch the elements around them. It's a closer on an EP that showcases deep range and know-how when it comes to dance music's past and present, and Oleic only draws further intrigue as to what the future holds for Owens.

Side A
1. CBM
2. Oleic

Side B
1. Kingsize (KLO Rework)
2. Elliptic

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