Review: Call Super – Fluenka’s Shelf (Nous)

Currently munching its way through the same platter of kudos and chips that Mood Hut were enjoying a year or so ago, Greek Label Nous have come a hell of a long way very quickly on the back of a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them releases that some cynics might suggest owes as much to the relative scarcity of the pressing runs as it does to the quality of the music within.

Their second release of the year features Call Super, one of Britain’s more interesting contemporary techno talents and an artist who has often been willing to colour his music with elements from a wide range of influences. Last Autumn’s album, ‘Suzi Ecto’, took this approach and ran with it, furnishing us with a record that refined his sound and added a super 8 flicker to proceedings that widened its scope from cosmic dance floor etchings into something more full-bodied that rewarded repeated listening.

Whether ‘Fluenka’s Shelf’ is quite as brilliantly realised as the album is probably by the by. While there are similar strands and ideas present in both, the new 12″ rolls much closer to current new wave house than the album’s beautifully abstracted vistas. It is also, like the album, a record that bears repeated listening, but that may be more down a need to prime your ears properly for it more than anything else.

Fluenka’s Shelf itself doesn’t give itself up easily or willingly; there is so much going on that you’re going to need a couple of other pairs of ears set up around the room at irregular intervals to catch the little touches and nuances. That’s not a bad thing, however, and it’s refreshing to actually hear a tune that makes you work a bit to get on board. One thing that is unavoidable is the presence of a stone cold groove that’s grown out of the snaking bass and a drum track so deep lying it’s reduced to a suggestion than anything more physical. Not actually so much a busy tune as one where the ideas come in roving gangs, it’s worth setting aside the full 11 minutes for some quality time with your stupidly expensive headphones.

From Which I fell isn’t quite so effective, eschewing the previous track’s landscape of otherworldy jungles for something far closer to current vistas. It’s a nice, deep and wonky piece of modern house but let’s be honest: how many tracks these days aren’t? Even so, it’s difficult not to like it as it unfolds on the back of that ambling, sleepy eyed riff that yawns into being a couple of minutes in. It’s a warm tune, full of daft grins, but one that ultimately doesn’t quite do as much as you’d like. It’s subtler, perhaps, and less adventurous. Which is a shame because there is something in it you just want to come to life.

Not so much a mixed bag as a bit uneven, ‘Fluenka’s Shelf’ still has more than enough in it to show why Call Super is held in such high regard. While It’s maybe not quite up to the same level as either the album or his stand out turn as Ondo Fudd on last year’s Trilogy Tapes release, There is plenty here – within the first track in particular – to set your ears working hard.

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