Boomkat: "Hot-tip producer Imami spurts a trio of colourful club constructions backed with class edit by DJ Milktray. Following up the hyperfunk'd Linn drums of his Tommy Rawson remix for Crazylegs in 2014, the 'Contrapposto' EP presents a super well-rounded and forward sound: whether putting his own, crucial spin on Jam City-style chops with the kinetic flow of the title track; beaming dizzy ballroom beats and chrome splash synths in 'Iridescent'; or getting back on that techno-boogie bent with the pendulous torsion and cheeky-ass bassline of 'Royal Slap'. For very cool measure, there's also a smashing edit of 'Iridescent' by Glasgow's DJ Milktray, spanking the drums in a cracking grime meets B-more mutation. This is the business, basically."
Gage: "yh i love these big up imami"
Big Dope P // Moveltraxx: "This is the best release of 2015 so far."
NTS Radio: "I love the Seinfeld/Beverly-Hills-Cop-in-a-blender attitude going on in Royal
Slap. But I think Contrapposto keeps me guessing most - nice Phil/jazz disjunction."
Cassini: "Best thing I've heard for aaaaages..."
Sly One: "Love the first the three tracks and the fourth is just amazing."
BD1982: "Top notch work here from start to finish. Will especially be supporting Royal
Galtier: "Contrapposto is so massive!"
Additional, less verbose support from LuckyMe, Scratcha DVA, Inkke, DJ Milktray, Obey City, Wallwork & RZR, and Druid Cloak.
York-based Benjamin Allen is as far removed from clubland as one can be – but one couldn’t guess that from first glance, given his affiliation with LuckyMe, with club/grime rising stars DJ Milktray and Strict Face, and his sold out debut 12” on Druid Cloak’s Apothecary Compositions. Indeed, his status as a low profile geographical outlier is a glass ceiling that Ben, aka IMAMI, has deftly and effortlessly sundered. It is at this stage that we unveil the sophomore contribution to our Tessier-Ashpool Research & Development series – his most accomplished work to date, “Contrapposto” (which, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a position of the depicted human body in which twisting of the vertical axis results in hips, shoulders, and head turned in different directions”). A perfect analogy, given IMAMI’s classical virtuosity, yet mutinous edge.
The cutesy drip-drops that start off the title track are nothing more than a masterful opening gambit, in a track almost entirely comprised of gambits and counter-gambits. A peerless use of negative space follows, wherein it seems like the track will go off, but rather it opts to take its time and deconstruct itself at leisure. Buildups come and go, never resolving. Around the 2 minute mark, without warning, it finally goes off - erupting in a devastating, dizzying percussive barrage, never faithful to a single pattern for more than a few bars. It then gradually settles into its memorable “lead beat”. A drum track like few others before it.
“Iridescent” can be described very much the same, in theory – in practice it is a very different beast, deserving of its own spotlight (having lost only by photo finish to “Contrapposto” in the lead single finals). DJ Milktray’s subsequent edit is a simplified, functionalist, yet larger-than-life and overdriven take, marrying the heyday Rustie/HudMo ethos to next-gen grime and club values.
“Royal Slap” is a class act closer, sounding like a modern renovation of a worldbeat instrumental. Indeed, it almost beckons an AI Peter Gabriel (with his GUI rendered from “Sledgehammer”-era photography) to belt over it. Then again, an occasional sample insists that we “shut up”. So maybe not.
This is how we start in 2015. This is how we mean to go on.