Roughion go to the moon and back on their new double single

Stream on: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Out 31st July, the new double A-side single from emerging Welsh electronic duo Roughion launches their sound into the stratosphere. 

‘Target the Moon’ and ‘Acid Test’ are squelchy acid house experiments and 100% club-ready – even if, at the time of writing, the world at large isn’t. Yet the production is so rich and animated that it also thrives in a domestic dance floor situation. 

‘Target the Moon’ begins with an overture of strings, burbling synths, and a transmission from Cape Canaveral, during which an earnest voice outlines the imminent launch of a space probe. It’s a captivating two-minute build-up, and even when the beat drops and goes into hyperdrive, the track never loses its sophisticated sheen. 

‘Acid Test’ is a playful bit of techno house, discharging dubstep-adjacent wubs in rapid succession. It’s an ideal tonic to the cerebral ‘Target the Moon’, culminating in a silly, spliced-together message from Donald Trump – although it wouldn’t be the most outrageous thing POTUS has said in 2020.

‘Confessions Without Words.’ by Jacqua Cooper sounds like a clandestine rave

Stream on Spotify or Apple Music

Score: 6.5/10

Add to playlist: ‘Cooler Back Then’, ‘Henny Harmon’, ‘On the Shore’, ‘Out Ahda’

Newcomer Jacqua Cooper has an ear for lo-fi techno beats with a stimulating hip-hop twist.

On his second LP, Confessions Without Words., the New York-born DJ/musician reveals his secrets across 21 doses of hard-hitting and (almost entirely) vocal-free dance music.

From trance and vaporwave, to industrial and future bass, the record leaves no electro subgenre behind – and at its finest moments, captures the raw, spontaneous energy of a clandestine rave. 

Be warned: Cooper’s production style is rough and ready. The copious stock sound effects don’t always add to the experience, and even at their most pummelling, his instrumentals have a tendency to meander.

But when he hones in on a particular concept – such as the slinky trap of ‘Out Ahda’, or the corrupted tropical house of ‘Cycle’ – the results are hypnotic in a Kaytranada-meets-Ryan Hemsworth kind of way.

Despite the record’s sonic disarray, Cooper isn’t above nailing more commercial sounds: ‘Cooler Back Then’ dials up the sugary 90s trance nostalgia, while ‘On the Shore’ is picturesque balearic house. If you listen to anything from Confessions Without Words., make sure it’s the final four tracks, which make a particularly good case for Cooper’s melodic prowess. 

Hey, after 21 tracks, ending on a high is no mean feat.