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We review the new EP from Sheldon Agwu – Seeds of Sanctum, Vol II

This new EP comes from London instrumentalist Sheldon Agwu. An entrancing mix of European guitar, brass and beats, it’s something you have to hear to truly understand.

Nightlife eases us into the EP with luscious flashes of guitar interwoven with relentless clapping, which all floats atop a rain-like humming in the background. It sets the scene for what is to come, conjuring up imagery of exotic lands far from our everyday sphere, transfixing the imagination and forcing you to get lost in its weird and wonderful concoction of sounds.

The same pattern is followed in Disconnect, but it is with Have a Great Morning that we see a slight change of pace. A short and sweet track, playing out at just over a minute long, it turns up the tempo slightly and gives the impression that after slowly pulling you in through the first two tunes, this one wants to transport you somewhere a little different. Like its predecessors it is driven beautifully by the enchanting guitar which runs all the way through Seeds Of Sanctum, but it has an extra little edge to it, and is quite possibly the high point of the release.

We move next to Dracula. Here we again see a bit of a change-up from what’s come before, being strung along throughout the early part of the track with no strings but brass, giving a slightly more ominous overtone to it before it falls back into like to again whirl you away with its uplifting rhythms, eliminating any menace that lingered in it. Concentrate has a slightly more conventional feel to it, it builds and falls nicely, in a similar fashion to Disconnect earlier on, with each beat seeming to melt into the one previous to create a wonderfully smooth sound.

The rhythm picks up slightly again as we move into Oakley Gardens, with the swishing of sounds which define this EP the most prominent here. An unrelenting murmur of claps blends effortlessly into the prominent guitar which is also at its best in this track, with the result being what is probably the fullest sound they produce throughout.

We finish on NOVA, a track that brings Seeds of Sanctum to anything but an abrupt ending. It really feels like a sum of everything that has come before it. The rising and falling throughout the seven tracks have all been to get to this point, with all the sounds we hear throughout all of a sudden coming together, and it’s definitely been worth the wait.

This EP is something different. It might not fall into a genre you would find yourself rushing to daily, but its ability to really grab you with its fantastical mix of sounds and force you to fully immerse yourself within it is incredibly special. A beautifully made and produced offering, and one I will be going back to whenever I need to escape.