Deepswell – Black Fury EP
This EP is hypnotically full of repeating melodies and rhythms. “Black Fury” opens with electronic percussion resembling hand claps that builds the energy in a way that makes me feel like the tempo is increasing, even though I know it isn’t. This is followed by the groovy “Movin,’” which is notable for including vocals and live drum tracks. It’s also a track best heard on good speakers or headphones, as it bounces between channels in places. “Valencia” rounds out the EP with deep bass and flamenco-influenced acoustic guitar riffs. All in all, it has a little more deep bass and jazz than I like, but those elements make this EP stand out in the progressive house crowd.
Dakatronic – Crooked Duck EP
I’m not quite sure what to make of “Crooked Duck.” It opens with a building melody, and just at the climax, it shifts gears into something that barely incorporates what came before. It’s almost like Dakatronic took one song and mashed a minute or so of something else to the front of it. I like the expansive/cosmic sound of the first part of the song, which makes it all that much more jarring to unexpectedly shift into a dirtier, more industrial cycle of synths. “Take Control” sounds more like it’s about to take off than take control. The track kicks off with energy and continues to build up patterns and layers for several minutes, including a nod to Taio Cruz’ “Dynamite” at around the two-minute mark and again later on in the track. The final track, “Die Today,” is solid, but unremarkable.
Alonzo – “Away Uganda”
The original mix of this single is a very acoustic arrangement using real percussion and focused around the smooth female vocals. There are synths involved, but almost more as an afterthought. It’s not quite downtempo, but could probably work well as a transition point between dancier and chiller tracks. The dub version eliminates most of the vocals and adds a bit more energy through additional percussion layers. The Tony Rougez Barcelona Rhythm remix returns to the vocals and chill atmosphere. The Nuno E remix is a love affair with the percussion tracks, and the Serve Cold & Sweet remix is notable for the incorporation of strings.