Having only two releases, with the second being her debut EP, Willow has already established a signature sound – hazy vocals, low-lying bass, contorted rhythms and unique instrumentation. Workshop 23 is the most cohesive electronic music record I have heard this year. It plays like a narrative by seemingly calling upon Willow’s superb “Feel Me,” the previous release on a compilation EP (Workshop 21), for three of the four tracks. The first tune on the B-side however does not feature the soulful voice but the other qualities from the rest of the EP remain.
A descending harp leitmotif is heard amongst an agitated drum pattern from the beginning that echoes around, fluttering between the tonic and dominant, colouring the sparse soundscape. Dusty hi-hats and soft claps are teased in and an ethereal synth eventually starts to fill the space with more subtle percussive snippets. Alien sounds such as a weighty kick comes and goes towards the tracks culmination. It is as if the tune was always heading to this point but it feels as if it was improvised and fully formed at its conception. A “creaky” melody emanates from nothing and the piece breaks down rather suddenly, leaving the drums to bring the track to a conclusion.