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Pavliné - Baby Strip Me Down (Restless Recordings, 2019)

The head honcho of the SWEAT Parties delivers up two pumpin' monster cuts of the highest order.

Where would contemporary music be without Queer culture? So much of what we know and love came from the vibrancy, acceptance, love and above all else, high octane energy from many places across the globe. What began in the early 70s in the pre-disco era, where gay bars were the main attraction in cities across the States and beyond, flourished into disco culture, where mainstays like Sylvester and Patrick Cowley worked behind the scenes (and at the front) to contribute to the genre's world domination. What proceeded perhaps is the most important in many ways to the world of electronic music. House was born from the marginalised communities in Chicago, bringing together African-Americans, Latinos and the LGBTQ+ communities under one roof, to dance all night long together. Frankie Knuckles and his best friend Larry Levan during this time both curated some of the most evocative and exciting club cultures in music history, bringing their personalities and energies to the dance floor every weekend. HI-NRG also emerged during this time, a genre born out of the gay scenes in Europe and the states, and alongside Italo Disco was responsible for contributing enormously to the progressions found within dance music culture during this time. What this intro is getting at, is that without queer culture, there wouldn't have been so many of the innovations within dance music, none of the pivotal moments that changed the faces of genres we hold to close to our hearts would have happened. In today's musical landscape, we celebrate their achievements and their legacies, and this is being continued by parties across the globe that continue the ideals of the icons who set the groundwork for gay club culture.

Pavliné has been one of those that is currently contributing to queer culture's rich musical heritage. He learnt his craft in Berlin during his formative years, before settling in London, where he has founded his own night SWEAT. His nights have seen the likes of Nick V, Red Greg and Octo Octa grace the decks, and has nourished his night into something of a fixture in the London clubbing scene. As a reflection of the vibe curated by these nights, he is debuting this EP, 'Baby Strip Me Down'. Whilst the title would fit in perfectly with anything Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle ever released, these tracks are highly reflective of everything that has come before, but injects a mighty amount of contemporary passion into proceedings. The sensibilities of Chicago House, the octane madness of Italo and HI-NRG, the cheeky chappy keys of 80s synth pop, its all there, wrapped up in a nice beautiful bow. A proper pair of party starters, the character is so much that you very much imagine yourself dancing alongside Pavliné at one of his nights, the music a perfect encapsulation of dancing to sweat, dancing to feel, dancing til the sun comes up. So lets dive into it!

Up first comes 'Rave Queen', and it begins off in high octane fashion. The drums built up solidly, as the quiet little key line moves from beneath, evolving slightly to move between the motions. The cutsey keys signal some more heated stabs, that dive like missiles onto the noises below, cutting straight through the beat. The drums take a breather, before they swing back into proceedings, as a killer bass line chugs along underneath it all, awaiting the next phase. On top comes the inevitable deep stab, that brings the energy up once again, claps and cymbals going off left right and centre. The beautiful thing about this track is how it captures a series of different energetic pulses, as it combines various layers to really delve into the heartbeat of whats going on. The combo of stabs, lines and sequences make this track one that would make the ground shake, big time. The drums look to take another breather, as we move back into the bass line and the drums doing their thing. This might be this writer's particular favourite part of the tune, that mix so delicately contrasted and expertly balanced, it just moves like a neverending wave that washes over the body. The track just moves forward from there, keeping a more consistent energy, but never once looking back. Splendid shit! To finish up, we have the title track. This once once again begins with the slamming drums, with little interferences from little key lines and sounds. The high but filtered synth moves into the background, as the bass begins its pulsating along the seabed. Deep stabs compliment the perimeters of sound, as a short but sweet vocal sample indicates the cymbals to float away for a moment, leaving just the bass and the drums. Oh the tension! what wonders could happen next, the build up is superb. It all comes back in in swinging fashion, the drums working just a bit harder to move proceedings along, as we are fully locked into the groove now. Its hard to look away, to move away, its hypnotic in its utter simplicity, yet that is the power of this track. Pavliné does a brilliant job at creating a sense of urgency and pure energy, just by doing some really good work with how elements transition in and out of time, how all the layers work with each other, and how they work tirelessly to make you groove and move.

coooor, talk about a track making you want to move. Some pure elevated blissed out energy all over this one, with the music doing its thing to delve deep into your dancing shoes and take you on a wild ride. But its the essence of the tracks that is perhaps the most special. You really feel a connection from these tracks to the party, to the producer, with images conjured up of smiling, happy people, living their best life, eating the bountiful fruit of life's rich tapestry. What splendor, what life, what grace. A powerful statement from Mr Pavliné!

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