Philip Budny – Belfast [Aronia Records]

We’re no strangers to Philip Budny here at Bolting Bits, keeping a close watch – since his first forays into the world of blissed out house music on Church’s Volumes compilation, to his recent outing on Let’s Play House – it’s been a joy watching his music develop and bloom. It’s an even greater pleasure to premiere Belfast, the A2 off of his debut album “Shades of Blue”. Coming out on Philip’s own ‘Aronia Records’ imprint, the 7-tracker is Philip’s most expansive and cohesive work to date.

Belfast, built on a bed of chilled out rolling drums and embellished with all sorts of hazy ambient synthetics, is a beautiful tune perfect for any comedown, or increasingly frequent bout of the quarantine blues. Closed-eyed, foot tapping and gentle hip swaying house music at its best, pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Philip Budny.

However, the more ambient leaning pieces of the album see Budny delivering some of his most exciting work yet. A personal highlight is the title track, ‘Shades of Blue’, featuring beautifully emotive harmony – played through gliding synths reminiscent of his breakout tune ‘Eclipses’ -and super groovy sparse percussion, which are some of the more left-field and exciting rhythmic arrangements he’s offered up so far in his discography. Likewise, Moritzplatz, 2013, with drifting new-age piano riffs, rainsticks, detuned deteriorating strings, ambient field recordings little a tiny touch of percussion, is a beautifully crafted moment on the album. Such cuts see Budny tread newer ground both melodically and rhythmically, and the payoff is truly rewarding.

All in all a serene, soothing journey from start to end, a perfect companion for quarantine daydreaming, ’Shades of Blue’ is a must-listen.

Pre-order the album here.