AFFKT - We Are Safe EP on Sincopat

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 27/3/14 7:44

All things being equal, the house music form as an art form is fairly well codified at this point and few, if any, artists are really pushing that far outside the form to pursue their own muses regardless of audience reaction. The amount of generic label compilations that have alreadycome out in the first quarter of 2014 is staggering, with far too many hyped artists and labels laying bare that they are indeed naked by offering nothing new to the ongoing musical conversation that is house music. It feels as though either boredom or pharmaceutical research has stunted the progress of most artists this year. In defense of the form, the Sincopat label hasn’t fared much better musically than anyone else out there but has at least seemed to put out records with the fan in mind by packing them with half decent remixes so that at least you might feel like you got your money’s worth when purchasing. The illustrated artwork on the latest is part of a much larger mosaic that will be spread over the next ten releases, rewarding devoted collectors with a gigantic image assembled in pieces if they buy all of the records. The music isn’t particularly fantastic, a little below the normally overachieving AFFKT’s standard of quality but the remixes from And.Id and Satori are decent complements to the two originals. Overall, the record offers a cogent vision of what a 12” single should be all about.

We Are Safe” is attention grabbing house music with plenty of energy and some okay melody. The drums are pedestrian but the buzzing synths and sheets of distorted melody have a keen underground feel that hits more than it misses. The track, however, feels undone and that is unusual for such a fastidious producer. It feels like his studio game is off and “We Are Safe” comes across as anemic as a result. Even with a warm, punchy bass line this track still manages to feel distant and icy.

Mobilee artist And.Id is the king of overwrought proggy dross trying to pass itself off as tech-house, a phenomena that has reached itsnadir point in 2014. On And.Id’s remix of “We Are Safe” he steps out of that mode for a few minutes to create something a little beyond his comfort zone. It’s still the same kind of watered down minimal, trackiness that the original version offered up but it is still a stretch for this artist, especially the distinct lack of melody. In this case, it probably would have served him better to go with his artistic instincts and produce something a little closer to his native style. But we’re not going to knock the guy for at least trying something new even if the concept and execution are a bit shaky.

On the second original, “Therapy”, things get more interesting. AFFKT’s flare for pushing the envelope is in sharper focus with its off-kilter rhythms, an angular bass line, and quirky melodies. The track keeps the energy level just like the A-side offering but manages to inject a little thoughtful braininess into the mix. It’s a welcome change of pace from the assembly line of identikit tracks out there masquerading as the future of the genre.

Perhaps the best track on the release is the Satori remix of “Therapy”. The musical form called house is stretched in many directions. It might even be possible he tries to stretch too far by introducing more musical ideas than the track can safely hold. On the other hand, in this age of near permanent underachievement brought on by the stasis of the art form more is definitely better.

Artist: AFFKT
Title: We Are Safe EP
Label: Sincopat

TracklistWe Are SafeWe Are Safe (And.Id Remix)TherapyTherapy (Satori Remix)

Our Rating: 7/10


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