UK based Latvian producer and label owner Vlad Odorovski aka Miotek has a real knack for developing talent and exposing gems that would otherwise be hidden away in the Latvian underground scene. I have respected him and his Seven Sisters Records label for a long time now; great sounds from authentic electro artists with a collective identity under a label banner that is now synonymous with quality. This latest release from Cosmic Monkey doesn’t let the side down either.
Hailing from Ventspils in Latvia Cosmic Monkey aka Dj NEi has made appearances on Seven Sister’s excellent Latvian Electro Pack compilations in 2012 and 2015. Keen followers of the label will have enjoyed his track ‘Work It’ from the 2015 release in the series. I remember clearly thinking ‘I hope there is more of this guy to come’ when I played it on Bass Agenda episode 117.
This EP has depth, soul and a magical balance of machine funk and synapse tickling melodies, it’s one of those releases you’d play to a cynic or newcomer to the genre who asks ‘so show me something that says electro still has something in 2016’.
Track by track then. ‘In A Special Place’ has a gentler start to it, the introductory chords instantly tell you this is a production driven by emotion and a desire to communicate with the listener on a deeper frequency. Again there are dubby tones to this, at little more subtle in some ways, but adding a further dimension to the more ‘chilled’ vibe of the track.
‘Acid Beats’ does what the name suggests bringing a blend of dub tinged electro beats and a sprinkling of squelchy acid, building nicely with another classy and not overdone vox, gently swelling synths and a mechanical hiss that comes and goes to reminds you that this pleasure is being brought to you by a machine.
‘Go Deep’ continues the deep room filling bass drenched theme, very classy head nod material this one. Cosmic Monkey’s vox really are good and feel an essential part of the weave, rather than an afterthought as these things can sometimes feel. The call and response dynamics between the vox and synth on this cut work brilliantly.
Up next ‘The Way You Do It’ has that filth to it that you can’t help but love; heavy bass, hypnotic basslines and all dusted with spacey atmospheres, heavy breathing and nasty vox. A real deep feel to it that any late night session would only be augmented by.
Russian electro craftsman Neonicle is on remix duty, another producer known for his polished, considered and quality output. His version of ‘The Way You Do It’ takes the original to a darker plain. The vox reverberate around your head as the track unfolds into a sea of machine funk washed over with glitchy mechanics invading your head space, carried along by a bassline that won’t quit; a real trip.
Conclusion? This is classy modern electro, respectful to the genre’s roots and of a quality that deserves attention. Support the cause; this is an artist doing it right on a label doing it right.
released February 20, 2017
Originally released on Seven Sisters Records, APR-2016
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