Cesare Marchese - Aether EP (Vakant, June 6th)
Vakant's latest release moves further from the robotic minimalism that they established as a focal point early on, with Italian-born Berliner Cesare Marchese delivering an EP of skewed and warped disco-inflected techno. It's perhaps too easy to look for the Moroder / Golbin influence in anything with Italian origins, but seriously, the synths on Ferni & Fefe Fightin' are spectacularly cosmic, whilst the string-scraping bass guitar on (oh-so-subtly titled) Little Vakant just drips with camp funkiness. Opening with the eponymous Aether, Marchese builds up a shuffly rhythm of claps, woodblocks and percussive fills, before building up a surreal acapella chant and delay-heavy chords; channeling aspects of deep house, IDM and minimalism, it's something truly different for Vakant. Personally, I feel the vocal serves to clutter up a funky mix of delayed chords and aquatic dub sounds, though overall, it's cool stuff.
Marchese's best moments are his use of dynasmic shifts and subtle EQ-work, with the vocals on Ferni & Fefe Fightin' sitting strangely far out in the mix, and the drops in and out of bass managing to keep simple riffs exciting over the course of seven minutes. Similarly, Little Vakant's layering of simple, morphing components makes for some great slow groove house. Interesting EP.