"Straight up Argentina moustache gangsta house" reads the press release, so needless to say, we were intrigued. Packing a lo-fi punch and ripping into retro plink plonks like nobody's business, Arcade has stripped this season's sound down to its pants and taken it out for a stroll. Working it all out into a big bassline freakout as the track strings you along is just all part of the fun, not to mention the side order of nutjob footwork left by way of a remix from Deft. Absolute madness.
B Ju returns on the excellent Squelch & Clap with his most intricately structured collection of tracks to date. The smooth lounge tones of "Bird Call" recall the experimental R&B of James Blake, as neon synth lines snake around rattling beats, while the smoother tones and pitched vocals of "Cry Wolf" and the rolling garage styles of "Taurus" recall Jacques Greene's finely sculpted productions. Remixes come from 123mrk, whose version of "Kry Wolf" adds new layers to the original's shuffling groove, reducing the vocals to mere slices, and Tete De Tigre, who turns in a heavily stripped back version of "Taurus".
Squelch & Clap live up to their wonderful title once again with emerging Nottingham maestro Saulya. This EP is what we call in the music industry a sonic sandwich; two super-soft slices of nourishing modern day electro boogie bread ("Effort Isn't Enough" and "I Don't Want To Sleep") and a satisfyingly chewy bass filling, full of complexities ("Gravitas"). There's even a side salad; Arcade's remix of the eponymous lead track maintains the swooning, sweeping synths of the original but adds a distinctive, sharp Detroit/classic electro twist. Garnished with a mild dressing of jazz sensibility, this is a fantastic effort.
Rene Van Munster has been relatively quiet as of late, concentrating more on his Bootlickers affiliation rather than his own brand of party-time house damage. Here he drops a bomb on Squelch & Clap, in the form of a bizarre and wonderful assemblage of off-kilter percussion shuffles and fantastically devious synth keys, and "Hark" really is a tight little monster with all the ingredients in the right places. To aid the throng, we have three gorgeous remixes: Hizatron comes up with a gnarly-as-hell techno leviathan containing some of the wackiest melodies the label has ever seen; Julien Mier goes all sparse and UK on us, whilst the Knowing Looks retouch points towards broken beat's fantastic appeal - tight drum chops and wicked atmospherics. Recommended!
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