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Music Review: Various Artists – X Years Sampler [Zingiber Audio]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Zingiber Audio continues to release incandescent material to celebrate 10 years of activity. Their latest VA vinyl-only compilation features four banging originals from some of the best underground producers of the moment, and the result is just brilliant.

EWax’s captain SY takes the lead with “Got To Be”, and the track hits the hard from the very beginning. Bass proceeds with style and class throughout the track sweetly rolling on top of the pounding kick and the dusty hats. Some fluffy synth stabs make their appearance sporadically, coloring the scene with sparks of light, smooth arps, and hooks. The crisp drums have a crispy feel, lightly slapping in the background. During the break, the magic finally happens, and the track swiftly moves to a much calmer and meditative mood thanks to deep old-school chords. The new scenario allows a vocal to finally cut right into the mix before vanishing once again in the bounce.

A2 is courtesy of Wave Particle Singularity who opts for stripped-back drums and a very airy pad for the core of the track. It’s nice to step into this colorful sonic world that he creates and get lost in the luscious airy vocal. The groove struts restless and full of different elements, creating constant variation and giving lifeblood to the track also thanks to tiny crisp details in the drum patterns.

Frenchman Dustyard is knee-deep into sound and soul. His track “Hydrat” is all about a melancholic feeling of loss and wandering where the mind travels as it gradually unfolds. Sweet organic percussions give a touch of human feel on top of the sequenced drums and sampler chords. The result is a bouncy and profound jam where warm chords gently rotate around the groove, making it flow lush and steady. Small hooks call for attention and move in short, tidy melodies. The structure is very liquid and it’s hard to tell when things start or end in the flow, leaving the listener suspended in an ever-evolving moment.

Rounding out the package, Venice-based Nicola Brusegan brings on his signature minimal touch with a pinch of dreamy deep housy flavor. Titled “Under Beat” is a very atmospheric jam full of movement which is given by constant tremolo on the main synths. The rotation is provided by a gloomy sub-bassline which keeps the overall pace kind of laid back and sexy. The metallic and flangered drums are thick enough to stand out from the rest, making this one a great tune to close a very well-rounded EP.

Words by: Francesco Queiti & Francesco Zambianchi

More Dust Yard: Facebook  / SoundCloud

More ZINGIBER AUDIO: Facebook/SoundCloud

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Music Review: Klon Dump – Understanding EP [My King Is Light]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Thomas Melchior’s new imprint “My King Is Light” keeps on proposing a fine and sharp vision on minimal music dropping its third release to date. It’s time to welcome in MKIL fam the Aussie born and Berlin based producer Klon Dump.

A1 “Paul’s House” kicks start with a rumbling, 90s-feeling bass. Gritty https://www.phonicarecords.com/label/my-king-is-light/168898/all/latest/descgroove is laid down with simplicity and taste, pace is quick, determined. It’s difficult to stay still. Sonorities remind of the harsher Nolga and Micheal James cuts, with unexpected turns towards concrete and dense sound hits, old-school synth arps and nasty leads. Energy is at the right place,

B1 “Surprise Room” glitches its way through the flipside, taking us for a bouncy ride downtown! Gliding strings moody move in the spectrum, painting fluid lines on Klon’s canvas. Drums are super tight, very definite. Each rhythmic element has its proper crisp. Acid and metallic tastes are next to soothing pads, creating an uplifting contrast. Vocal takes the listener into a completely different dimension, before plunging into the depth again.

No Surprise Room” is the most melancholic jam in the EP, delivering clusters and atmosphere alongside Klon Dump’s signature groove. Scenario is darker, while drum hits go fast on the beat. Minimal groove is intricate, extra polish, extremely curated. The way Klon interrupts the flow by removing ambient pads, leaving the beat alone, is a powerful way of creating more and less dense areas throughout the length of the track. That happens in a very natural way, at the very right time, so that the track unfolds smoothly.

Looking at the bigger picture, “Paul’s House” EP is a very complete work. Klon Dump doesn’t make any secret of his references and inspiration, integrating influences into a very mature and personal style. Skill is apparent in the way everything comes round sweetly, satisfyingly caressing the listener’s brain and body. Composition is wise, achieving complex and notable musical results starting out from simple ideas.

We’re curious to see how MKIL will move further – it is not an easy task – but here at Meoko, we don’t doubt that we just have to wait for the next record!

By Zambianchi

Listen/Buy this Record on Yoyaku

My King is Light

Thomas Melchior / Melchior Productions

Klon Dump

Music Review: Pauli – Solara EP (incl. Ion Ludwig Remix) [Aissa Records]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

We are in a world where many of us are constantly rushing on things, often neglecting the care and the attention that everything needs to receive to be at its best. I said many of us because this is definitely not the case for Darem Aissa and his homonymous label Aissa Records that after almost 2 and half years since its first release, now finally drops the second chapter by rising talent Pauli, another one that has work in the shadows for a very long time who will you hear a lot about in the future. The entitled “Solara” EP also sees the legend of Ion Ludwig on the remix duties, giving a further feeling of majesty to the entire release.

Opening the EP in style, title cut “Solara” immediately shows its nature showcasing profound and warm chords above which gentle arpeggiated plucks bubble around, gradually rising in tone and setting a dreamy and cuddling mood, not even remotely disturbed by a simple but effective techy groove.

Up next, “Phase Issue” starts with another lean techy groove backed up by robust sub-bass which, however, reveals a more rascal intent than its predecessor, as sneaky female vocal chops and untamed airy chords rise the tension that is further released in a clean and easy-to-dance-to drop.

On the flip, the bouncy “Flow-Matic” features lovely 808 rhythms over a fat and gnarly bassline which proceeds seamlessly almost for the entire piece. Icy hats, scratchy percussions, and subtle rave-ish synths drive the track till the end for an upbeat slice of dancefloor gold.

Dutch maestro Ion Ludwig steps up on the remix duties with a hypnotic version of “Solara” dominated by poignant piano chords, majestic pads, and an unexpected vocal sample, with the stuttering low end that, unhurried, heads the release to a trippy and enchanted conclusion.

 

Words by Francesco Quieti

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Legit Trip – Dreams EP [Purple Box]

By Reviews

After the initial release by Lee Onel on the digital sister-label, newborn Purple Box is ready to raise the standard with a 4-tracker vinyl EP by Legit Trip, backed with remixes from Juliche Hernandez and Ilya Schulz. The entitled “Dreams” EP comes from one of the fastest rising talents in the Russian scene who literally took the Beatport charts by storm last year with his unmistakable deep-tech approach, releasing on labels such as DPE, Aprapta and Bla Bla to name a few. He now debuts on Purple Box, which will be responsible for constantly sharing fresh groovy vibes from the south of Italy, as the label is the result of the union of famous Pressology Distribution and Effetto Disclosure.

 

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Click HERE to buy Dreams EP – PBOX001

 

Starting out with “Dreams“, Legit Trip provides his trademark stripped-back groove together with a slick bass which initially covers only the lowest frequencies and gradually opens itself to the whole spectrum. When the pads and stab kick in, the piece immediately jumps into a groovy minimal tech dimension, whilst the open hats cut the mix super swingy. To complete the track, crisp jazzy riffs give another boost to the piece, remaining well-balanced with the addition of vocal chops that bounce nicely on the beat.

 

 

The joyful atmosphere of the first track is opposed to the darker “En Dehors“. Airy pads almost sound like a choir, heavily processed. Drums roll tight and definite, with the right amount of thickness. Bass rumbles underneath the whole track, rolling and melting smoothly with the stabs. Hypnotic and intimistic, the piece goes round and round, rarely breaking the never-ending rotation. Trippy high-pitched percs flutter with their long tail, opening up to a new layer of tiny sounds.

 

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 Legit Trip

 

On the flip, Spanish groover Juliche Hernandez (UNCANNY) signs the first remix and his strong temper emerges from the very start, as he delivers a classy and heavy minimal number. The stomping kick drum still leaves some room to the other elements, with the woody percussions in full-focus above a dynamic texture. On this version, the vocal is pitched down and brings even more drama to the floor, even if the biggest merit goes to the thunderous implacable bassline. Airy stab arises and starts wandering following the delay on top of the groove, creating a flawless interplay. When the piece gets dry again, once again we get swept up by the huge rolling bass and the powerful drums.

 

 

Lastly, Ilya Schultz takes over with his sunny re-interpretation of “Dreams“. Starting with a bouncy stab, the track takes shelter immediately in a tunnel and starts speeding. Drums populate smoothly, with a pumping and swingy clyster clear groove that rushes the whole thing up to the break. The Moscow-based DJ and producer takes the jazzy riffs from the original, filtering them just a little, enough to make them look like bubbles about to blow, right before going down and then ascending quickly during the break. Slapping groove with loads of soul. 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Various Artists – OLDiViBES 171

By Music Reviews, Reviews

There are certain labels that you know already before you hear the EP that you’re in for a pleasantly mind-bending audible experience. iO (Mulen)’s OLDiViBES ticks this box inside and out. Next up to the plate on the sort after imprint is a VA from 5 artists who are making waves across the circuit at the moment in their own right; Vitess, Mandana, Andrea Caioni, Josh Baker & Alfie Jack.

 

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Click HERE to buy OLDI171

 

The A-side kicks straight into play with Vitess using thunderous kicks and nimble hats to instantly grab your attention. The introduction of robotic pads and electronic synths teleport you to another dimension. Soft under layers and a driving bassline keep you moving. It’s the breakdown where all the elements really come into their own. The synth arrangement here takes you straight back to Acid House movement of 89’ alongside tight breakbeat percussion elements before dropping back into the groove. A grade weapon material.

 

 

Following on, Fuse (BE) resident Mandana shows her prowess in the studio. Distinct percussion and crystal clear hats accompany voltaic synths which instantly grab your attention. The introduction of a heart-warming bassline sets the tone of the track throughout. The contrast of ever the building hypnotic synths, precision like percussion and dub undertones works perfectly here.

 

Flipping it over to the B side and we begin a journey through space and time. The layers of this track evolve effortlessly. A master class in arranging from Andrea sees hi-end synths come and go throughout. Skipping hats and tight kicks create the energy and groove complementing the progressive synths. This is one that builds and builds and you’re more than happy to go with it as it does.

 

 

The EP concludes with duo Josh Baker & Alfie JackThis is not the first time they have collaborated in the studio; producing yet again a sound perfectly blended and distinctively influenced from both their own individual styles. Intricate pads, accompanied by a deep and resounding bassline send you flying across the skies. New elements are introduced carefully throughout allowing the track too effortlessly develop.

 

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Label owner iO (Mulen)

 

 

Safe to say this is an EP that will be enjoyed on many dancefloors across the world. Another one for the bag from OLDiViBES.

 

 

Words by Jordan Diston

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Music Review: Alci – Can’t Dance EP [Meander]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Alci is one of those names in the minimal house scene that has been constantly dropping solid releases, a mixture of sophisticated music with a balance of groove and thoughtful flair that captures listeners and dancers alike. His latest work is no exception to the rule, released on DeWalta’s forward-thinking and top quality Meander label. The entitled “Can’t Dance” – inspired by the weird moment we’re all living in – is a four-tracker EP full of bass-jackin’ heavy tunes that reflect the high energy, versatility and laidback style of the young Swiss DJ and producer. The EP covers a good range of tones within minimalistic and technoid soundscapes perfect for anything between late-night dancing and early after-hours.

 

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Click HERE to buy Can’t Dance EP

 

Opener ¨Can’t Dance¨ starts off the recording with a walking jazzy bassline, enveloping the listener’s feet and head into a trippy funky groove. The bass dissonances from the glitchy elements and percussive textures in the middle ground section of the song adding a surrealistic feel. The irony of the vocal recording repeating the song’s title, in different pitched registers makes the track both fun and weird, a vibrant minimal roller that keeps feet moving despite the song’s contradictory title.

 

 

¨Sonsuz Seconds¨ takes form as a minimal house track with a more upbeat energetic groove cleverly spiced with organic and tribal sounds alike. Sparking warm percussions hypnotically captivate the listener as they respond to the deep and funky bassline that intensely carries the momentum forward. The glittering clicks and textures combine with full-bodied and acoustic percussions as it transports the listener to a tropical vortex-like dream. The track’s tone is emphasized with the gentle yet sharp synth that creates a type of pause and melodious colourful tension as it alternates with the driving force of the heated drumming polyrhythms. The combination of the robust kick, the open hi-hat, a sharp clave, and a crispy clap brings the track together as dancefloor minimal house weapon. 

 

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On the flip, ¨Kelime Bir ¨ conveys a darker toned mood, with dry percussive clicks and drums that evoke a minimal techno dominance and somberness. Modular and analogue synthesizer melodic pads flow as they collide and drift in a dense sea of low-end sound waves. The vocal sample subtlety whispers distorted words which creates a mysterious ambience, while the closed jazzy hi-hat keeps pushing against the beat. The unexpected piano melodies, along with a nice rhythmic lead and syncopated bassline make for a flammable yet inviting musical cocktail.

 

 

Closing off, ¨Kelime Iki¨, dwells in a dusky mood and atmospheric minimal track. The track’s drumming entrances the mind with low-end frequencies that resonate steadily in time. The clap accentuates and moves the energy forward as it complements the downbeat in a simple yet effective manner. Shortly after, mumbling voices appear adding a sense of depth and enigmatic dynamism. Short synth pads leak into the foreground while incorporating cleverly a straight-headed hi-hat that firmly raises the dynamics of the track. The low-end bassline reproduces ascending notes which coast smoothly along with the beat. While pads with trippy bends surround the air as delicate deft tones. Once again, Alci proves that it is possible to seemingly combine simple backbone elements with refined details in a reductive and alluring composition while keeping the dancefloor on edge. “Can’t Dance” EP has already sold out in various record stores so don’t sleep on Meander’s latest addition to their catalogue. 

 

 

 

 

Words by Daniel Ordoñez

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Music Review: Jamie Lie A Kwie – The Groove Codex LP [VL Recordings]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Today – about 10 years after since his first release – Jamie Lie A Kwie releases his debut album on the mighty Vatos Locos label. Known for his warm and charming groove tools, The Rotterdam-based DJ and producer has captured many facets on the entitled Groove Codex LP by introducing the listener to his personal vision of dub rhythms. A vision which is evident across titles across his work here; in fact, the 15-tracks album includes tunes called “Forever Dub” and “Re-Dub Overdub” that, as well as the other tracks on the LP, feature quite long analogue rides where large rolling low-grooves are boss.

 

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 Click HERE to buy the Groove Codex LP

 

With Jamie being a personal favourite among tINI and Vatos Locos’ head-honcho Hector, to name a few, so much that his first output for the label is from 2016, the album traces his whole artistic path, starting right with “Jungl“, originally released earlier last year on the label. This track is a straight and heady minimal house track that since the very beginning makes us live the frenzy of the jungle thanks to pounding kick, tribal congas and a percussion loop that constantly gets pitched up & down, giving to the track a sense of restlessness. On the opener, Jamie features dark and mysterious atmospheres with some odd synths moving on long lines together with smooth arpeggios patterns in an effective interplay, especially when the pads arise in the break, before the drums cycle back smoothly, sharp and dusty. 

 

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Up next, “Nordzee“, hits the spot by working on an interesting combination between the kick and the groove: the 4/4 beat takes a little further with a strange but effective the use of low percussions, to which is added an unconventional hi-hat right on the beat. Trippy and higher-pitched percs create a sort of hook for the drums to follow, with some mellow vibes also courtesy of lush and airy pads. Lifted two centimetres from the floor, we keep on floating on this intimate track.

 

On the entitled “Time & Again“, Jamie shows us his personal taste in the choice of drum sounds, bringing to evidence his love for fat grooves, re-taking some of those 2015-ish dub forgotten sonorities. Synths are further apart, shotting some harmonics on the heavy beat. A wispy breakbeat filters through, slowly coming to the listener’s attention during the break and continues for the drop, but once we are aware of it we can’t get rid of this stumbling shake.

 

 

Track 6, “Moving Current“, insists on a rusted groove where the drums are thin, with the exception of the clap which is fat and deep. On this one, Jamie gives to the drums the right dose of saturation, creating a grainy lofi feel. The snare roll picks the groove up at the end of four bars, creating an endless story combining with low reverberated pad chords that are drugging as down under smooth current. The synth line is melodic and introspective, sounding like an endless journey which takes us deep within the sea. This unfinished, infinite feeling makes the piece sounds fragile to its utmost expression.

 

Thus, “In Arts” goes back to a straightforward kick and bass relation. The kick is stingy and the bass rolls tight on it, with the drums getting more aggressive and the synths turning into hypnotic harsh-drivers, more harsh and definite. On this one, we lose that tinge of vagueness that we had so far for a more solid attitude. Reverbed drum hits create variation while the hat and clap proceed regularly and steady. The arp synth has a very deep house flavour, rubbery and everchanging. Melody is obscure and trippy, hypnotic, compelling. Just close your eyes, here’s everything you need.

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Umberto – Subjectivity EP

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Hailing from Bologna, 320kb Music boss Umberto (also known as Dumbo) is back on Italy’s Daphian Productions to show the world what’s house music is all about. The entitled “Subjectivity” EP is a deep journey between rough ghetto beatz, acid rhythms and dusty neo-romantic post-industrial vibes, with the main track which also gets a remix treatment by Detroit legend Rick Wade.

 

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 Click Rick Wade to buy Subjectivity EP – DPV005

 

Opening track “Subjectivity” instantly shows a gritty attitude on a breakbeat groove, bringing us back in some US smokey bars, where the main protagonist is a delicate sense of swing, loopiness and sensuality. Overall, the sound is dusty and lofi in a very old school fancy, with Umberto knowing exactly how to blend this into a more modern and minimal way. Some spoken words kick in, bringing on some mystery and motion with a catchy pace, and we can’t stand still while it goes.

 

 

Up next, Detroit’s deep-house titan Rick Wade delivers a massive interpretation of Umberto’s A1, shifting to a beautiful uplifting mood. It’s house time baby. The kick pounds and a deadly play of 909 hi-hats dominates rumbling strings and the main vocal, which now is used in a more atmospheric way, sounding further and intense. The result is very emotional jam, with intense strings and choirs, throwing in some extra-colour on the original whilst taking groove to a tougher level.

 

The B-side opens with the laid-back Balearic jam of “Hypnotico”. The powerful and intricate drum patterns roll around the swingy hi-hat, in a rolling neverending flow. Some detuned stabs make us feel instantly on the beach, evening time, enjoying the sunset. Glidy synth and smooth piano-like chords fill the mids with class. Umberto, despite everything, doesn’t forget his dirty signature house sound, making of this one another playful fancy tune.

 

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Last but not least is closing “Was Nice To See You Dancin”, a super-soul twisted piece. Disco strings and a charming melody give to the track an old and kinda-happy vibe, the perfect tool for opening sets, with the right balance in between deep, funk and dancefloor attitude. Percussions are tight and groovy, with the snare’s sound cooked to the right point, crisp as it should be. During the break, the track lifts in a dense high pitched cloud of sound, before coming back to the ruthless 4/4 straight kick, bass and groove.

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Patrizio Gabrielli – Comfortable Disharmony [Heko Records]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Rome’s very own Patrizio Gabrielli (Joule) makes his Heko Records debut with the “Comfortable Disharmony” EP. A title that catches the digger’s attention even before he put the needle on the disk. And if they say that a book is not judged by the cover, well maybe a record could be, especially if it’s served on a colourful minimalistic sleeve.

 

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 Click HERE to buy HR008 – Comfortable Disharmony EP

 

With both Patrizio and Heko fierce supporters of the quality over quantity motto, the label reaches its 8th release after having released intriguing deep house and avant-garde/futuristic house gems packed with electro and minimal influences.

 

Opening proceedings, the super-deep “Astra” welcomes a combination of analogue spacey sounds and fat bass notes, rolling smoothly under a delicate airy and mild pluck that is constantly changing. The kick hits hard and digs deep, creating an emotive groove. The whole piece, as the title suggests, evokes cuddly melancholic feels, and the swingy 909 percussive pattern is liquid and well-balanced, perfectly melting the elements together.

 

 

Thus, the energetic “Polylove” brings the moods up. Dancefloor time. Again, the drums are very crisp and robust, with Patrizio working with the always-winning formula of kick, clap, hat and bassline for the first minute. On this one, the overall mood moves to more electronic-ish feel, also by focusing on 90s sounds, a trend that was already taken by the label in its latest releases. The heavy drums are yet combined with a chunky bassline and futuristic splashes of resonating acid lines in a flurry burst of sounds.

 

 

On the flip, “Kashmir” is the real deal of the EP. This one has been hammered by the label head honcho Giammarco Orsini over the last couple of years, and every time he dropped that, the crowd went bananas. With Gabrielli still keen to bring forward his deadly combination of 90s flavour and new-kind of house wave, the track rapidly follows into an early acid breakdown surrounded by distant delayed notes, whilst the drums are straight and in front. The lead synth is glidy and goes a super catchy and hooky melody alongside the slippery acid line. Magic.

 

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Rounding out the package, “Tribe” gets more aggressive: the bassline gets rid of its gloomy bassline, turning into a rampant gritty sawtooth. The breakbeat mood works seamlessly, with fat snares and sharp drum elements to close the matter. Delicate synths and celestial arp-lines literally spin over our head, in stark contrast with the rough bassline, with warm chords leading the whole EP down to the end.

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Carebears 606

By Music Reviews, Reviews

The soft and loveable Italian Carebears drop another spacey 2-tracker EP on their self-titled label.

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The opening track rumbles around a deadly 909 skipping groove made of gritty drums and dirty modular percussion. If at first, just a metallic synth rises to the rescue, we’re pushed high with the entry of the thunderous open hat, throwing our hands to the sky. The piece has a slow harmonic development, with the pads able to fade and arise smoothly, giving to the track an emotional and profound feel. In its whole length, the track is a neverending loop that cycles naturally, keeping the listener’s half-awake thanks to the overbearing bassline that literally carries the track from start to finish.

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The bears stick to the B-side rules, providing a slick and funky minimal jam get minimal on this B side. Some dry drums are pointed and very defined, with a sort of odd melody prowling on the background. The synth hits are shotted just where needed and die in silence after their appearance. Hypnotic high pitched perc completes the complex interplay.  A far vocal starts talking, polarizing the listener’s attention. Muffled stab kicks in halfway through the track, shifting the track into an uplifting and sunny mood. Well done bears.

Words by Francesco Quieti and Francesco Zambianchi