Review: "Fluid as a paintbrush yet precise as a scalpel" is how ESP Institute boss Lovefingers has described these two tracks from sometime Gifted Culture Collective member Autre. It's a fairly apt description. Check, for example, A-side "Everybody In The Past", where colourful, broad-strokes riffs, paint-roller chords, mangled acid lines and intoxicating synth solos decorate a bustling rhythm track. The delightly jaunty, sunny and percussive flip-side "Frigo", meanwhile, is the audio equivalent of an early period Picasso painting being paraded around a small Mediterranean town accompanied by a synthesizer-wielding house band. Which, we think you'll agree, is a very good thing indeed.
Review: Following up 2016's Kyoto EP on ESP Institute, here is the return of Cleveland. Interestingly enough he's not from the midwest USA but in-fact from Luxembourg (with Italian roots) and based in Brussels. His music isn't nearly as confusing though; on the contrary "Tusk" simply sounds like 'oriental electro' (if we've heard such a thing) even more than Japanese Telecom would. B side cut "Aku" equally borrows from Detroit bass aesthetics, yet crosses over into minimal techno - albeit unintentionally we assume - grooving much like current sounds of the Berlin underground as heard on labels like Time Passages or Libertine. A.E. Mancini has released previously on other fine imprints such as Hivern Discs and Oskar Offermann's White.
Review: Long-serving British producer Toby Tobias returns to ESP Institute for a second time. Intriguingly, A-side "Second Stimulus" - arguably one of his finest cuts to date - is a little more robust and bass-heavy that his usual offerings, with floatation tank motifs and cascading chords rising above a bold, chunky, sub-bass-rich groove. It's undeniably floor-friendly, but also deliciously spacey and quietly melodious. Turn to the flipside for "Synchro Surfer", where expertly dubbed-out synth refrains rise above a deep, purist tech-house groove. It's the sort of record we'd have expected to hear at a Wiggle party in the late '90s, which is no bad thing.
Review: Gifted Culture Collective member and occasional S. Moreira collaborator Xinner has decided to inaugurate a new alias, Robotron, via a first EP for ESP Institute. The man-machine's first missive, "Dream Resonator", is rather delightful, and sees him warp chiming, crystalline synthesizer melodies and glassy-eyed IDM style chords around an inventive and entertaining rhythm track that sits somewhere between Drexciya style electro and jazz-fired broken beat. The same rhythmical dexterity is also at the heart of similarly rush-inducing flipside "Ice", where bolder melodies and chunkier bass catch the ear alongside some suitably futurist electronics.