Muncie, Indiana-based Producer IV the Polymath has been around for a few years, as a solo artist and as one half of the group i.deals with the emcee Jondis. He originally started as a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, piano, and drums. Only in recent years has he moved into the realm of beat making, but it’s through a combination of live instrumentation and drum machines and sampling that IV was able to find his voice. This particular collection is comprised of a few unreleased songs originally recorded in 2009.
IV is not going to hit you over the head with his music, opting instead for a subtle approach. There aren’t going to be any huge drum hits or break downs or anything of the sort. IV instead takes a route where the music moves over some down tempo grooves and rewards patient listeners with lots of subtle flourishes. “Let Me Be Your Tour Guide” is a sexy number, with keyboard and guitar trading off riffs over simple-but-effective drum and bass. “Suckerpunch” is tenser, with a minor classical piano loop and flute playing over a mid-tempo funky beat as violins come in over the top of everything. There is definitely some RJD2 flavor to this track. “Push IVward” traverses a dreamy landscape that could easily find its home at Ninja Tune. This vibe continues through the next couple of tracks as well.
The last two tracks contain vocals. First up is “Setbacks” featuring Junclassic of Undercurrent. It retains some of the dreamy qualities of the last few tracks on the EP, with the soundscape recalling a rainy day, but the drum beats become much bigger to be in conversation with Junclassic’s voice, which is low and powerful in delivery. The track isn’t bad by any means, but it also doesn’t come together in a way that grabs your attention. “Days & Nights” with Jondis of i.deals does feature great chemistry between producer and emcee, with a jazzy groove laid down over electric piano and funky drums that are strong but unobtrusive. Jondis has an easy, dexterous delivery that dialogues perfectly with the music. I will definitely be checking out some i.deals based on the strength of this song.
For those of you with some patience and appreciation of the subtleties of songwriting and producing, this EP will reward you upon repeated listens. It took me a few before everything came together for me, but now that it has, I’m definitely interested in any new music IV has coming for us.
|IV the Polymath - Push IVward EP