REVIEW Hammer ‘Canna EP’ [LOFT Records]

Irishmen, Hammer, has been busy this year. With three releases already under his belt and a busy performance schedule, the ‘Feel My Bicep’ artist is hitting the ground running. His Canna EP has been played by the likes of The Drifter, Job Jobse, and childhood friend, Bicep. With cheeky synth lines and upbeat rhythms, all three tracks will surely be a constant for everyone throughout the upcoming months.
 
The EP’s namesake track begins with a varying drum pattern that sets a forward moving, dance-like tone. A single note, varying only in weight and duration, enters and repeats, maintaining the propulsion that the rhythm established while harmoniously euphonic synth pads fill the surrounding space, setting the stage for what is still to come. A tremulous synth melody enters, faint and simple, unfolding one note at a time. Timid, its character is coaxed out by the enveloping pads. This same melody then re-enters, altered in sound, and it’s cheekier and bolder than ever.
 
Manaka, the middle track, is almost an amalgamation of the other two tracks. It takes the best of both worlds, drawing from the light-hearted synth lines of Canna and pairing it with the rhythm-heavy beats of Man Ray.
 
Although it has a different feel, Man Ray is no less dance floor worthy. It begins with a siren-like melody, sustained and piercing, cutting through the sombre mood the hi-hat filled rhythm creates. Faintly we hear the echo of the track’s notorious melodic line while dark samples crash in the background. The beat is momentarily removed and everything crescendos and decrescendos until it is brought back, more embellished. The main melody’s second run is more glorious than its first, with the synth tone rising up and down, slipping from semitone to semitone. (Tess)
 
Hammer’s ‘Canna EP’ was released on April 17th on LOFT Records.