03 March 2013 (released)
28 April 2014
Amatus's 'Broken Compass' is a pay-off of powerful orchestration inspired by life-changing events in the producer's life. This is a woman who has suffered a great deal of personal emotional trauma and, instead of letting it affect her negatively, has been spurred on by it all. Chicago is a loud, unforgiving city, yet you can sense its also a melting pot for musical ingenuity that has shaped Amatus's unconventional approach.
'Broken Compass' can't be accused of tentativeness. Maintaining a relentless tempo, this 5-track mini album pushes the envelope for compositional conventionality, encompassing innumerable popular genres to create an ultra-cool urban offering. We're almost listening to the future of RnB here!
The momentum is consistent, so you're never soothed into idleness; rather you're encouraged to get active, whether it's swaying almost wraithlike to the smooth sounds of 'Cherish' or indulging in some good, old-fashioned head-banging to the trendy 'Messin'.
The thumping two-step skeleton of many of the songs harks back to the Eurodance, trip-hop period that dominated the British charts in the early 90s. Incidentally, Amatus shows a reluctance to saturate songs in an abundance of complex lyrics, instead utilising a few choice words enhanced by haunting vocal dynamics.
Other songs like 'Coming Home' boast neatly laid out piques and troughs with a heavy percussive element and a sweeping of ambient leads, whilst 'Run Fast' is about as slow as this album gets, but it's still laden with 808s and deep, punchy bass lines that compliment the dreamy synthesis. As far as début albums go, 'Broken Compass' is an excellent start and it will be extremely interesting to witness the evolution of something that already sounds ahead of its time.