Glen Brady’s Redeemer EP can light a deep house dance floor on fire with his trademark clean bass lines. But it’s the mix of smooth flow, deep grooves, and melodic downtempo tracks that makes Redeemer sure to win over the ears of electronic listeners.
While the title track and “Rathmines Rock” are pulsing house songs stacked with building, sexy synth, elevating bass lines, and quick vocal bits, I was most impressed with the more ambient soundscapes. Slo-house elements and stunning melodies unfold on “Baby Maker.” The closer,“Once Was Glamour,” boasts enough breaks and ambient guitar to qualify it for late-night, sunroof-cracked cruising. Each song of Redeemer has that chill trance energy to it. It must be the clean production overall that, even while uncontrollably head bobbing and toe tapping, made me want to slow down and soak in every aspect of these tracks.
Vienna producer Bendejo delivers raw emotion like he invented it in his latest EP Unravel, where soaring strings and piano compliment the rich synths and dark undertones this release is heaving with. Ambient and misty, Unravel is a scenic soundscape unto itself.
The title track exhales that emotion through quick bursts of grand piano and an undulating, heavy rhythm. Reverse Commuter’s eerie, dance-inducing “Swallowed Shadow Mix” heaps on the trippiness with warped, echoed synth. Stefny’s “In The Night Mix” is just as darkly atmospheric; for as foggy and wandering as the texturing gets, there is a breathtaking introduction of strings that made me think of a trippy version of The Secret Garden–if the film were ever lucky enough to have an electronic soundtrack.
But it’s Bendejo’s “Landscapes” that epitomizes Unravel’s “epic melancholy balanced out by progressive techno” approach. It churns things up with jumpy, hilly, minimal bits that sound, quite literally, like a rocky landscape. Unravel is just as much sonic terrain as it is an EP; if that doesn’t get your techno appetite growling, I don’t know what does.
As soon as I read that Groove Squared is an Italian producer, it all made sense: the sexy ambiance, that unique European density, those beautifully restrained vocals. Chemistry is an EP made up of four remixes of Groove Squared’s original track “Chemistry,” with each song emphasizing certain aspects of the track’s soulful, deep house makeup.
Musumeci’s vocal and instrumental remixes stay true to the ambient soundscapes of Chemistry–his vocal remix a deep trance track whose powerful, intensified vocals stand out amongst twinkling synth and a punchy rhythm. Remixes from Dodi Palese offer both a melancholic side and a deep techno burst at the end, which left me with an embarrassing seizure-like twitch long after the music stopped–you go, Dodi Palese. Palese’s original edit plays up those soothing, lulling vocals, but it’s his final remix that reminds me Chemistry offers a provocative European club feel–one brimming with jabbing beats, dramatic vocals, punchy percussion, and some simply unforgettable electronica. —Rachel Haney