3 August 2012

DFRNT - El Spirito (27 Aug, Echodub)


DFRNT - El Spirito (27 Aug, Echodub)

Long-time DFRNT fans, it's always exciting to catch new releases from the 'Burghian producer, and El Spirito, released in advance of his forthcoming second album, is a pretty fine piece of cross-genre electronica. Leaving aside the shuffling garage-isms that usually underpin his work, the title track is a solidly kick-driven splay of bleep melodies, tape-wound vocals, and those trademark warm chords that just about passes for house music. Despite the more driven percussion, the atmosphere is still melancholic and smoked-out, hyper-extending every chord and vocal riff to sprawl somnambulantly across the mix. On the B-side, Work Harder is akin to Scuba or Ramandanman's cross-genre material; mixing the skittering percussion of garage/house with DFRNT's distinctive chord washes, and a powerful sub-bass that teems beneath a low-pass. It's a strange mix of the subtle and the brutal, and in typical fashion, the production's fuzzy and heavily-filtered, with the bass straining to break loose, whilst the high-end continually spreads.
El Spirito shows a definite evolution in Cowles as a producer, able to handle a more diverse palette of styles whilst retaining a signature sound - the closer Homeward, which ought to be a filler B-side or a lazy dub is a strange 110bpm trip-hop / electro-pop hybrid that breaks new ground and brings a real depth to what was otherwise a fairly straight up DJ 12". Featuring renowned Scots / Gaelic folk singer Joy Dunlop, Cowles matches languorous vocals with aquatic washes of synths to produce a surprisingly radio-friendly dark pop song that indicates great things to come from Fading. However, for those familiar with Cowles already extensive back catalogue, El Spirito does bear marked similarities to a lot of his already existing material - the signature sound of big chords, comfort reverb etc perhaps needs to be switched up in the near future. Intriguing nonetheless.

No comments:

Post a comment