Ray Okpara – Satin Curtain EP – Mobilee

I wasn’t quite expecting this most welcome blast of cool, syncopated European Hi-Nrg to hit my airstream but the EP’s excellent title track introduces itself in a big way.  Beyond the grinding bassline and sassy drums are lots of more subtle, striking, imaginative sounds and ideas all positively brimming with possibilities. This is music to transport you somewhere else, expanding the safe constructs of what plays for a lot of the more formularic releases out there, never mind the fact that it is simply exceptional. Darius Syrossian supplies a remix that inevitably employs a tougher, more robust slant while Kevin Yost plays host to a warmer introduction of percussive rhythms alongside deeper bass on his great version. Which then leaves the remaining two originals; the Acid inspired Love Fool and the sizzling guitar infused Take 4 to complete another cut-above release from both the label and the producer.

Release: January 27


Reviews: 12/01/16 (163)

leenaKevin Yost
Don’t Give In
Leena Music

Kicking off the New Year Mobilee sister imprint Leena has Kevin Yost supply another killer production. This deceptively uncomplicated number shoots straight to the heart of the matter with heavy-duty bass providing an irresistible lesson in low down theory. Accompanied by layers of haunting vocals and tough drumming alongside cutting synthesizer stabs Don’t Give In is much more than the sum of its message. I Don’t Get It, poses an unforgiving question which only underpins the moody electronics on sequence, with the third and final More, More replying via a more expansive production that is high on sounds with a certain jazzy, funkiness providing a suitably fine ending.

Release: January 15

danceDance Spirit
Drowning in Irises EP

Life imitating Art as title track ‘Drowning in Irises’ is inspired by Van Gogh’s Irises painting. Equally impactful is Dance Spirit’s tough fusion of sharp percussion and bottom-end intensity alongside the fizzy addition of caustic synth lines transporting it all onto another level entirely. The sense of the otherworldly is continued with the addition of stabbing voices accompanied by a more blissful breathy ambience. The creativity then proceeds into Unfold with its darker tones settling into biting psychedelic sounds while contrasting melodic vocals lend this its own distinct edge. Completing is, In Between Spaces which marries minor pads together with gritty touches to produce something, again, rather wonderful as a result, swirling with ambience yet far from easy.

Release: January 15

Gatos Negros
Overdrive EP
Rotten City Files/  Records

We like the breath of fresh air. And both originals define punky attitude along with a refreshing injection of life. Overdrive, sees the Madrid based trio deliver on the promise with moody rhythms augmented by fuzzy guitar plus an ice-cool vocal delivery. Addictive, certainly. The Jamie Paton remix retains that sense of occasion while blending it over pulsating electronic beats to devilish effect. The equally exciting Sriracha simmers with a kind of joyous melancholia that hints at 1980’s New Wave, and with an excellent remix from II Est Vilane who crash sleazy euro-disco into it this is all too hard to resist. Which then only leaves In Flagranti to hit Chipotle with a heavy dose of Acid frenzy for the bonus track.

Release: January 11

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