Review: Upercent – Pedres EP

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Spanish supremo Upercent finds his way back to Sincopat with another tale to tell. The Pedres EP is his seventh project for the label and the electronica-infused tech-houser brings a subtle funk and full-bodied warmth, as much the result of an old-school analogue foundation as Upercent’s own stylings. The title track rolls out with a slick groove built on wide-bottom kicks and a flirty piano alongside jagged-edged synth tears. David Keno’s remix strips out some of the flipside’s melodic elements and opts for a more straightforward pounder. The original “Cronopio” is a solid slow burner with dynamic layers, hypnotic percussion, and a haunting vocal that all tie together for a somewhat melancholy experience. Third Son’s “Cronopio” remix is a bit more shadowy than its counterpart, but the pumpin’ upbeat vibe and robo bleeps give this one a quirky personality all its own. It’s been a good year for the Sincopat team and the Pedres EP keeps the party going.

Review: House of Praise – Colours EP

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The debut Deeplife Records project from Surrey, England-based producer House of Praise (a.k.a. Gareth Dicks) is the Colours EP. The title track shines with a rainbow of sound across the sonic spectrum of house music with warmth, depth and a bright splash of soulfulness. The simple song structure keeps things uncluttered for the uplifting groove. “Serenity” offers an almost retro feel with chattering percussion, chiming layers, and big flourishes sweeping across the sky where the crystalline leads really sparkle. “My Feelings Run Deep” rounds out the release with an emotional ride, a distinctive bassline and trance-y synths. Piano keys take the lead and tickle their way down the backside for a strong finish. The beats-per run a bit faster than traditional deep-housers, but the Colours EP doesn’t live by labels or play by the rules.

Review: AFFKT – Son of a Thousand Sounds

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After nearly three years of work, Sincopat patrón AFFKT is back with his sophomore LP Son of a Thousand Sounds. True to the name, the spinnin’ Spaniard brings together the best elements of house, techno, electronica, chill-out and more on this long-player of new bits and old hits.

Here’s a rapid-fire recap of the action (try to keep up):

The smooth into of “Dreamback” rolls out broken beats that grab the ear, and the sound is a nod to the extreme ways things played in the 1990s. “Oxi” is a deep and techy house groover that drops into a straight beat supporting smooth synths and atmospheric layers. We’ve been to “San Diego” before and the return trip hasn’t lost any of the fun energy. “Between Us” cools things down; it’s a perfect time out to take a breath among the gently pulsing basslines, tinkling synths, and layers of emotional ambience. “The Show” is worth the price of admission; the hook and poppy vocals by Sutja Gutierrez make this catchy electronica cut a winner. “Ikigai” presents an introspective intermission, a time to reflect upon what’s come before and to anticipate what’s ahead. “Flashcrash” is the second of three songs featuring Sutja Gutierrez. Hold on for this one; the melancholy vibe contrasts nicely with the upbeat vocal work. It’s good. It’s evil. It’s a bipolar bopper. “Boira” is a chiller that sounds like it was beamed down from the mothership to initiate First Contact. “Someone in the Sky” is another we’ve seen before; it’s got a gentle groove but lacks luster. “Mareny” is a more-than-minimal techy break; a great follow-up to “Sky.” “Ceniza” has a unique personality; it’s a blissful percussion-driven downtempo ride. Last up is “Esclafit,” another broken-beat downspin with stutters, thrumming pads and good vibrations. Great way to close the set!

The tracks can stand alone, but for full Zen effect you’ll want to put on the cans, sit back and just lose yourself to the journey.

Review: Myles & Mike – Let’s Get Started

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Myles & Mike’s newest project “Let’s Get Started” (Deeplife Records) brings a grinding techy attitude to the floor. “Let’s Get Started” is all about the drum layers, atmospheric builds, and twangy bass playing beneath skittering percussion and punctuated with a digital duck call; it’s all about the quirky energy. “LFT” brings in heavy kicks and buzzing synth wings swarming and pulsing to an almost klaxon-like effect with water-drop percs and suggestive whispers. The pounding four-to-the-floor drops into a quick wave of broken beats before firing back up to speed on this techno treat.“Movement” is all about the interplay between the bassline and the chiming leads and stuttering grit of the power-tool attacks. Also included is the LFT DJ Tool, which is just what you’d expect. The pack is an underground contradiction of sorts; rough and smooth, deep and energetic, all at once. Brilliant work all-around from Myles & Mike. Diversity is key; this EP could bang both the dark peak-time dance floors or the deeper after-hours sets. Great stuff.