“I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”
Yeats and Selvsse may not have had a whole lot in common (who knows they could have done!) but the above quote, for me, encapsulates a key element of what Rituals is about. The project is a solemn invitation by Selvsse to come into his world; it’s for fans to understand some of his inspirations and influences and in so doing, appreciate the aspirations and feelings being shared.
Deep bass sounds permeate much of Selvsse’s music and it’s within this space that he introduces Rituals. “Be Tru” is fundamental to the mantra of Rituals, dedication to honest expression. Its dancey energy balances with the more understated soulful tones and leads us into the deeper, almost bluesy-bass fuelled “Crown Shakra“. Here we’re dragged right onto the dance floor but still given something to meditate on. Without the need for words, “Crown Shakra” epitomizes the feeling of Rituals; heavy yet spacious, forebodingly dark yet bouncy and luxuriously layered to keep the vibes rolling on any level.
Continuing the journey into Hollow Earth (coming soon), “Labelled” sheds more light on the mood that inspires the bass and who better than JD Reid to add some fire to the affair! “Labelled” accentuates the natural swing of Selvsse’s music, bringing the soulful chords to the forefront and mixing in a two stepping cadence that smooths the come down from “Be Tru” and emphatic smacks and knocks on “Crown Shakra”.
“Ndina” sees the tape float into an ethereal space, uplifting chords and progressive bass combining to create an undulating soulful soup. Rattling snares remind us that movement is a natural effect of enjoying Selvsse’s music. And “Mistakes” featuring Georgia Copeland is a further showcase of Ritual’s upbeat soulfulness. Georgia’s angelic vocals elevate the sailing and swooping melodies of the beat and the deep bass hammers home the track’s feel. As with “Be Tru”, the message on “Mistakes” is effortlessly absorbed by seamlessly blending it with immersive sound.
Those with fine enough ears will recognise a familiar voice on “Paradise In 8bit” and the song tells a familiar tale too; relentless persistence to materialize ones’ dream and retaining faith despite feeling like you’re down in the dumps. “Paradise in 8bit” is another track core to the mantra and journey of Rituals as it reflects the internal monologue so many of us feel, yet are too anxious to admit. Next is “The Way“, the penultimate track on the project and it displays the kind of devout faithfulness that balances the themes in “Paradise in 8bit”. Light and airy yet punchy and smooth, “The Way” incorporates a myriad of moods and melodies to sail the listener through towards the end of Rituals on a high note.
And closing Rituals is “Where We Were” which brings together beautifully ambient textures, iconic keys and a softly reverberating feel that’s deliciously reminiscent of the soothingness of sleepily sunbathing. With the bass tamed on this track, Selvsse allows the lighter tones and atmosphere to define the track in so doing, ending Rituals on a distinctly positive light hearted note.
Following on from Selvsse’s previous instrumental releases (Nostalgia, Eleven, Slow Suicide), Rituals punctuates the time and place that Selvsse is creating music within. He adopts an eclectic sonic palette yet the motif of moody soulfness and emphatic bass are inherent to the atmosphere that reflect Rituals. Meditate on the music and enjoy this insight into the world of the sonic alchemist known as Selvsse. Stay locked for much much more! Selvsse’s Rituals is out now on Souletiquette, purchase it here.
Words by Ranako Daley