Lake Haze – Somewhere Between Shadows EP
Our record of the week comes from Portuguese producer Lake Haze, released on one of 2016’s hottest labels: Shall Not Fade. Reeling in an atmosphere of aquatic comfort, opening track ‘Her Pale Skin Glowing on the Dancefloor’ sees wave after wave of eerie synths breezing over pulsating drum loops. With a brief rest bite appearing in the form of the spaced out title track, the throbbing rhythm of the EP bursts into life once more on the lo-fi techno stylings of ‘S.M.H.’; leaving not just our heads shaking, but also the floor we’re standing on. The hints of acid appearing throughout the release come to fruition in the final track ‘Red Horizon Acid’, as our 303 friend peers out from between synths, accompanied along the way by a mesmerising melody. This EP leaves almost nothing to be desired, and is the perfect soundtrack for those long, sleepless summer nights.
Leo Pol – ILLE 01
Baring similarities to releases by Mood Hut, as well as works by veteran producers Andres and Pepe Bradock, the first output of French label IILE comes from rising producer Leo Pol. Nestled within the lo-fi atmosphere of the first three tracks one can’t help but feel an underlying homage to the same shades of garage and house that influenced Disclosure’s early success. Whilst the final, and possibly most impressive track ‘Parking’ centres around a delightful horn and vocal duet akin to Pender Street Steppers, the up-front, wobbly feel of this work is not lost and Leo Pol succeeds in creating an essential release for this summer.
D.Futers – Dolphin Traxx 001
D. Futers builds on his reputation as a skilled and diverse producer with this two-track release on Natural Science’s new Dolphin Traxx imprint. A-side ‘I Care’, a glistening slice of lo-fi house, sees Futers laying down a charming vocal sample over keys and a grooving bassline. It’s a theme that makes the transition to the jungle-oriented B-side ‘Never Givin’ Up’. Futers again summons a honeyed vocal over juke-y breaks to complete this wonderful release.
David & Hjalti – RVK Moods
Iceland continues to overachieve on the world stage with an elegant hip-hop inspired house EP from Davíð & Hjalti on Lagaffe Tales. The EP starts with ‘Moods’, a nicely layered house track with a charming melody fit for any summer afternoon; the next track ‘That’s Her’ begins with a throwback vocal that is further accompanied by cacophonous, but well suited, brass, as well as, an ably placed telephone. On the B side ‘Crime Pays’ alludes to its artists’ hip-hop influences with its unending melody accompanied by samples of scratching and a hip-hop vocal. The last track ‘Whatever you want’ is unique in the fact it could be a release of Motown with its groovy melody and soulful vocals.
Greg Beato – Untitled
Greg Beato returns to the techno stalwart label L.I.E.S. with a new five track EP that alternates between the label’s experimental form and an altogether more conventional sound. The EP starts with the song ‘It’s a Habit’, which synths kindle memories of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, before being firmly grounded in the 4 x 4 rhythm. The next track ‘Haunting’ is a slower more atmospheric track; the sound evolves throughout the song with its initial usage of a groovy bassline being ditched for unconventional usage of percussion and synths. The B1 and B2, ‘F7’ and ‘JOJ’ respectively, return to a more traditional L.I.E.S. aesthetic with rumbling distorted basslines and crisp and aggressive percussion. The final track ‘Parts 17’ sounds as if it is coming out of the soundtrack of Ratchet and Clank with its echoing claustrophobic use of percussion and synths.