Barcelona’s FACT crew are well known for being behind some of the best parties in the Spanish city, with their numerous OFF Sonar parties regularly offering some of the festival’s finest moments. Now, on the back of their success putting on parties in Barcelona (and increasingly, elsewhere), some members of FACT are launching a record label in a bid to distil some of the magic that has made them such a well-known brand.
For their inaugural record they’ve called upon the talents of Philip Quenum and Cesare Marchese – two stalwart figures in European house music. It’s an interesting pairing; whilst both Quenum and Cesare are artists with considerable bodies of work and are well regarded by those in the know, they also have something of the underdog to them. They are figures who deserve more attention than they get. Point in question, Quenum’s album Face To Face, one of the finest house and techno LPs of last autumn, seemed to barely make a ripple on its release, let alone the splash it deserved.
It was during the recording of that album that Cesare and Quenum first started working together, and Different Samba dates from those sessions. The record is atypical of both producer’s sound in its grooving bassline and sparse male vocals. But this is no straightforward house cut, instead the bassline is the only constant amidst a cacophony of sounds and samples that are thrown at it, from dusty bells to spoken-word samples to brief snatches of guitar chords. The trouble is, it feels like a dozen ideas hastily lumped together and lacks the focus or precision of either artist’s best work.
Thankfully, two remixes improve on the original. Butane puts on his editors cap, cutting out much of the excess of the original and stream-lining it all into a much tauter cut. The effect is startling compared to the original, Butane’s rubbery bassline and accompany hi-hats making for a deep and chugging house track. Loquace’s effort takes things even deeper, stretching the track into ten-minutes of shuffling minimal, in which soft, warm pads and dramatic chords make for a track that it’s hard not to be lose yourself within.
Fatty Boy, the second new production from the duo on the package, is an outing in expansive tech-house. A tribal groove loops over distant tinkling chimes and soulful vocals that become increasingly distorted, seeming to spin out-of-control into the audio foreground. It’s exactly the sort of thing that you can imagine has been designed with big, cavernous club spaces in mind and, in that regard, will be more than fit for purpose.
Quenum & Cesare vs Disorder - Different Samba EP on Yakazi
Our rating: 7/10