Sam Gellaitry is a hotly-tipped Scottish electronic producer who got hooked on music production software at 12, released very promising early work and is now, at 19, signed to a big independent label in London with a glittering future ahead. Sound familiar? Maybe it’s because his story recalls two other Scottish pioneers of woozy, hip-hop-inflected electronica, Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, who cut their teeth on the Glasgow scene as teenagers and started putting out music on Warp Records half a decade ago.
Gellaitry hails from Stirling and has signed to XL, not Warp, but his sound owes a debt to his neighbours. Listen to Temple from his February 2015 EP Short Stories, or Long Distance on the Escapism EP, which followed last November, and you’ll hear menacing horns, a la Hudson Mohawke, and complex, skittering beats and weird effects that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Rustie record. Yet Gellaitry is no mere imitator. He has deft control over his material, which can be intricate, with an exuberant globetrotting aesthetic, but rarely feels cluttered. His Escapism EP contains middle-eastern strings, pitch-shifted dancehall vocals, snake-charmer woodwind, harps and EDM drops. You’d expect these to clash horribly on a 17-minute EP, but somehow they make complete sense. Gellaitry’s new EP, Escapism 2, was released last month. KF