Newcomers to Lovemonk should not confuse the Madrid-based imprint with a traditional dance music record label. For over a decade, the small but diligently run outfit has operated an open-door policy when it comes to genre, welcoming hip hop, disco and new-age funk in equal measure.
That said, their latest venture is aimed firmly at the dance-floor, marking fellow countryman Damian Schwartz's first full-fat outing since November 2011.
And what a return to form it is. 'Inwards' captures that tumbling groove that so characterised the sounds emanating from 90s tribal New York, managing to fuse and brilliantly harmonize a robust melange of elements. Deft two-tone synth licks and swirling swathes mingle with irresistible feminine wails, while fervent snares and fleshy claps strap an unparalleled current of vigour to the already muscular, driving groove. The perfect tool for maintaining energy levels at a heady, infectious peak.
'Backwards', by comparison, feels a lot more contemporary. Choral chants lead the listener into a punchy framework of user-friendly synth hits, futuristic brushstrokes and yet another seductive vocal sample.
While it lacks any of the classic, cohesive thrust of 'Inwards', Schwartz still manages to craft a record that will catch the eye of many a modern club-music aficionado. A further notch to be proud of on the well-worn Lovemonk bedpost.
|Artist: Damian Schwartz
Title: It’s A Brave New World EP
Our rating: 8/10