Tracks from the stratosphere, from there and back again.
DJ Central appears everywhere, or so it would seem. His touch is seen all over the gaff, from various releases on Help Recordings, Extra Help, Dekmantel, Regalbau, the lot. His music transcends and weaves its way around an incessant forward thinking club sound, but with touches of ambient downtempo brilliance chucked in for good measure. Much like Acting Press releases, his music steps that fine line of balancing the dance to the senses, the atmospheres to the energised, straight up fuck yeah sort of music. Along the way, he has released some stellar stuff, such as his excellent 'Om Dans' release from earlier this year (which will get a review, I promise), to this writer's personal favourite of his, 2018's superb 'Li'Ud' EP, that is such a benchmark for the softer warmer side of contemporary house.
This latest release, on Gravity Graffiti, emphasises his approach to music making. An approach that has won him many plaudits, in his deft hand to the craft and to the forging of sound, the textures that exude from the music itself. This record is all about finding and furthering that ideal of blending the melodics touches that make his music feel so grounded in emotion; and the other side of the coin, explores the heartbeat of the club, and where those two intertwine, to some mesmerising and fantastic results. Lets take a dive shall we!
First up is 'Balast' by Olo (according to some DIscogs digging, Central has many, many aliases, so this writer is under the assumption that the artists included on this EP are either Central by himself or with other producers. If I'm wrong, get in touch!). Does this track start off in a blaze of energy, with the high kicks going wayyy deep, with cymbals abounding and crashing around everywhere. Around the 2 minute mark, those flitered chords come piling in, and the track has found its narrative right there. The blend is impeccable, with the keys building up then falling away just at the right moments, but its all about how the beat moves and flows in this song. it keeps the intensity up there just right, the kick being the anchor for it all, but the cymbal work here is first class. Everything is situated in the correct place, everything works and blends together just fantastic. This is the middle ground between the soaring synths and the kick drum that pummels the floor hard as fuck. This track, cooorrrrr, does the business. Up next, we have El Trick with the track 'Ko ko dak dak' . The track starts off in a blaze of energy, with those kinds of keys associated with producers like Morgan Wright and the like. The sign of things to come. The drums kick in hard, filtered to give the track that level of depth that makes it all the more compelling. A subtracted and torn apart amen break, intelligently built up and developed alongside the introduction of repeated vocal samples. Synth lines come in, with bass lines fighting for life, these elements all make up the second transition. Like two scenes that work alongside each other in tandem, they take breaks allowing for us to really take both of them in. The chords reintroduce themselves, along with a delightful high end synth line that crescendos and falls. Before the track all falls away and just slaps you hard in the face. You can't help but not just loose it at this moment. Everything before, all placed together, was building to this moment, but it could have easily just been a choppy take on the Amen the whole way through. And like that, the solidness of the breaks is done away with once again. The sounds play as big a part as the intelligently worked break, as they begin and end scenes with boundless scope. This is as refreshing a use of breaks as Textasy or Eris Drew, it is given a whole new character in this track. it takes on a different form, due to El Trick pairing it beautifully with all these little quirky noises and vibes that kick the tune into overdrive. Marvellous.
To wrap things up, we have Palta with the tune 'Daeksel'. A deep and chuggy tune, this is a real nice contrast to the channelled sonic excellence of the first two tracks. An excursion into familiar territories, but a path that could always do with further exploration. Moments of full bodied synths make way for quiet times, pauses and breaths, as if the song is mimicking the structure of the first two tracks, but just channelling a different mood and feel. The vibe is down right deep, an epic beauty that speaks softly but just as powerfully. It is the perfect way to end it all, an EP showing three very different cuts that provide all the tones we could ever want.
Electronic music is warm, full of life and full of textures. On this EP, we get the lot. From the rave and techno inspired opener, to the off kilter jungle - meets - IDM epic second, to the ambient keys groover of the third, its all just one long journey through the many facets of electronica. Always fresh, always invigorating, always present, always correct. Bravo to the producers, if they are all Central or not, fantastic job, as always.
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