Debut releases from new labels are always exciting because they hold so much potential, which upon listening will forever evaporate. That is why it is essential for new labels sending out promos to put their best foot forward to make the strongest possible impression on critics and DJs. Holding back in such a crowded marketplace is the equivalent of blowing your one big break and who wants to do that? Doing your homework in the form of research on who is doing it right is a great place to start. A prime example of how to do it right can be found in the four-artist compilation from Berlin based start-up Studio rº - an extension of an existing Internet television station.
The label makes some curious A+R decisions for this release that end up paying off well with the veteran Fred P making the most damage but popular DJ turned producer Eric Cloutier holds his own quite well on his production debut while Moscow artists Anton Kubikov and Korablove also lay down some memorable cuts. It’s rare to get four tracks on an EP these days that are of nearly equal stature, even rarer that it is a compilation. This bodes well for Studio rº’s future as a record label.
Fred P makes great music on a consistent basis, so there is little doubt that “Moving Systems” for this compilation would be any different. The track is a bit dark and brooding, bordering on spooky tech-house but is effective, consisting of lots of little touches making one great big groove. The soul of Fred P’s best work is there but this one is for the right time and the crowd and must be used sparingly for maximum impact.
“Adytum” from Eric Cloutier is much more accessible with a strong New York house undercarriage. The pulsing tones that comprise the melodic structure of this track are an exquisite study in classic Detroit techno and the bass line is compelling throughout. Cloutier weaves in elements of percussion like a wizard, making one suspicious as to whether this is the producer’s first release. If he can improve upon this, we may be looking at techno’s new top producer in the coming months.
The oddly titled “Jan4Bg”track from Anton Kubilov defends itself admirably from the American ex-patriot division holding down the A-side of this release. This track isn’t in the same league as the two previous but does deliver a much-needed soulful vibe to balance out the darker material on this release. The grooves aren’t rocket science – deep pads, housey bass line, murky vocal hook – it’s all in here like every other track in the genre out on Beatport this week. But the moodiness and the strength of its companion tracks elevate it.
Things close out on a high note with the organic “Sea Son” from Korablove, a moody and memorable beast rivaling Fred P for the EP’s top spot. If “Moving System” was a study in darkness than this must be its opposite – a musically uplifting piece built on ascending emotional chords that scream out hands in the air, please. The track fizzles a bit after a long breakdown by not adding any revelatory new elements, afterward which is why Fred P’s attention to details puts him on top for this compilation.
Title: 001 EP
Label: Studio R
TracklistFred P - Moving SystemsEric Cloutier - AdytumAnton Kubikov - Jan4BgKorablove - Sea Son
Our rating: 8.5/10