Doss is a mysterious figure both in terms of her approach to music and in how she presents herself. It is certainly endearing, leaving the listener to fill in the blanks and explore the sound world that she creates. The self titled debut EP, which released on April 29th is our first glimpse of the young producer. Doss immerses you in her bed of pretty synths that are handled with a delicate touch. Bass synths boom and drums propel the tracks forward, but they never take away from what’s in the foreground. It’s a balancing act, between building a solid foundation and leaving space for other instruments to breath. All in all she delivers, with few moments that really break the illusion or take away from the overall production.
The first track “The Way I Feel” starts off with a filtered synth that slowly makes way for a gentle house groove. This is topped off with a graceful lead that melts beautifully into a background of pads. Doss experiments vocally, with a pastiche of sampled and original vocals. They mix to create a unique dichotomy between the organic and synthetic. The track cadences beautifully with a final chorus that ultimately feels fully developed.
“Softpretty” has a bit more bite to it with thumping drums and a pulsating bass synth which is constant through the verse and chorus. A unique steel drum lead gives the track and extra dimension and makes it all the more memorable. Lyrically, Doss constantly repeats “I don’t care about anyone”. At first this repetition makes it feel labored at times. Except the repetition makes it more of a mantra and each time it appears it reaffirms this.
“Here Tonight” was the second track to be released by Doss in anticipation for the EP. It really brings you back to the early days of house with a decidedly 90s beat. This is a testament to the production with a real emphasis on groove which is rarely seen nowadays. The track breaks into a drum and bass section before returning to its retro roots. It works as an homage to classic house, but also as a more progressive dance record. The final track “Extended Mix” does less to separate it from the rest of the tracks and feels like more of the same.
Doss assembles a group of tracks here that offers a link to the past, but with a disposition firmly set in the present. Its strong points are its production and instrumentation which carve out a unique sound. A sound that at times is smooth as silk, other times abrasive but never overwrought. If I have any qualms with the EP, it would possibly be a lack of variety. Although it seems harsh to criticize it on this basis because with four tracks it is better to stamp your authority than have no clear direction. At times, though some of the tracks feel a bit light and It would have been interesting If she could have dragged us down deeper. Overall, it is a promising debut for a budding producer, one which firmly establishes her as a bright light of modern house.