Dial Tone is Liverpool recording artist and producer Petals In Sound’s second EP for Dirt Crew, following her 2022 Morning Light EP. I listen to lots of music each week and what made this catch my attention was the overall atmosphere; all three originals are rich, thick, dreamy, hazy house music, full of atmosphere.

A1 “Dial Tone” serves up a repeating vocal snippet and chiming synth riff sitting on top of soothing chords. The percussion is tight, snappy and controlled with additional overdriven toms, and the whole thing gradually builds into a cascade of fairy-tale arpeggios before simply drifting away. And it does it all in under 5 minutes.

Track 2 “Lush” is my personal favourite, but then I love a side-chained warm pad which is what this track is based around. (Note: I mention “warm pads” on these pages quite a bit so perhaps it’s a little late to begin explaining them, but for the uninitiated: a warm pad is a sustained chord played on a synth, with a fluffy, soothing, welcoming timbre to it; “side-chained” means it’s locked to the kick drum and “pumps” in time with it. You’re welcome, happy to help.) A simple Rhodes riff, a few soulful vocal samples cut up in the background, again those snapping drums and the whole thing just rolls, building the tension with the gentle unfurling of more synth parts all tucked away neatly in the mix.

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Third track “The Sea and Everything In It” takes a similar approach with a collection of ticking 707-ish percussion holding down another floaty backdrop of ringing synths and fluffy chords.

Aside from successfully making multi-layered synths and keys work well together in the mix, it sounds to my ears like lots of attention has been paid to tiny little details in the production too. There’s a hint of Daniel Avery in the intricacy and depth of the synth pads and even the brief post-break pause at 3″52 is expertly executed.

There’s a Pete Bandit Remix of “Lush” as the final track where he reduces the slightly shoegaze feel of the original and generally cleans the vibe up a little. It works well but I still prefer the original’s hazy, rolling groove.

⚪️ Tracklisting

Petals In Sound: Dial Tone EP (Dirt Crew Recordings / Digital & stream)
1. Petals In Sound: Dial Tone (04:39)
2. Petals In Sound: Lush (05:37)
3. Petals In Sound: The Sea and Everything in It (05:18)
4. Petals In Sound: Lush (Pete Bandit Remix) (05:43)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement

This record was submitted as a promo.

⚪️ Previous Coverage

⚪️   Discograph: The Story of Dirt Crew Recordings (2020)
⚪️   15 Years of Dirt Crew – A 5 Mag Mix vol 90 (2020)
⚪️   Dirt Crew signs Clive From Accounts for Pearls EP (2022)
⚪️   #ListenUp Soul survivor Jamie Lidell teams up with Lorenz Rhode for “Sandpaper” (2020)
⚪️   S3A’s PAGES Remix Album is a Dirt Crew Family Affair (2019)


5 Mag Issue 206
Out Now

MOVE: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #206 featuring DJ, dancer, teacher and producer Coflo, Alland Byallo, Phil Kieran, DJ Rocca, Jeff Mills’ Metropolis Metropolis and more. Help keep our vibe alive and our shine bright by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!