Supreme Cuts, who brought the future RnB with their stellar EP Trouble in 2011, are back with their debut album. Whispers In The Dark has the Chicago duo expanding and refining their unique sound. Chock full of both hazy soundscapes and huge bass, it's best enjoyed after the midnight hour.
The elements of their style that made Trouble so enjoyable are featured on Whispers In The Dark. What has changed is an increased focus on building atmosphere and mood. As a result, there are a wider array of sounds used throughout.
"Lessons of Darkness (Apology)" combines a lot of different elements. In the first two minutes alone we get tribal drums, hand claps, heavily filtered vocal samples, and an increasingly intense synth. All that comes before the bass kicks in.
While some songs like "Belly" and "(Youngster Gone Off That) Sherm" are in the wheelhouse of Supreme Cuts' earlier work, other ones bring in more traditional electronica sounds. The smooth "Epitome" rides a nice synth line that is a little reminiscent of Discovery-era Daft Punk. "Val Venus" is clearly inspired by techno and Chicago's home grown footwork music with its repeated blasts of drums.
If there's one thing that spoils the enjoyment of Whispers In The Dark a little bit it is the duo's devotion to the album's theme. Multiple songs seem to end a little too soon. This seems intentional since the album seems to be meant for nighttime listening. Any night owl knows that all the energy you have during that time is tempered by the realization that you eventually have to go to sleep. The way Supreme Cuts snatches the ending sounds of "Ciroc Waterfalls" and "Val Venus" away from us is that realization in music form.
Whispers In The Dark is a great album that for the most part delivers on the promise that their Trouble EP showed. With various remixes floating around and a mixtape with rapper Haleek Maul due later this summer, Supreme Cuts continues to be a duo to watch for.