Reviews: Denis Sulta – L.A Ruffgarden EP (Dixon Avenue Basement Jams); Kornél Kovács – Radio Koko (Numbers)

Denis Sulta – L.A Ruffgarden EP

Shaping up to be a bit of a Glasgow special around here today with a pair of records from a couple of well kent local labels. First up, Dixon Avenue and Denis Sulta lead aff with the follow-up to his Sulta Selects EP which landed at the tail end of 2014 just in time for me to choose the seductive Ralphie Rosario-esque tones of A.A.S (Nite & Day Mix) as my tune of the year. It was a belter of a release. Seek it out if you haven’t already.

L.A Ruffgarden sees Sulta back in familiar territory with three more tracks of heady and classic house, this time with a tinge of summer warmth and a few tribally touches to see us through. While there might not be anything on it quite as killer as A.A.S (Nite & Day Mix), there’s still more late night hi-jinx starters on offer here than is safe. Most people are going to gravitate to the slowly unwinding and sultry L.A Ruffgarden (Terrace Mix) with its shivering, silvery synths and shuffling, 4 AM vibe. Who can blame then? It’s a belter of a tune. I’ll be the odd one out though and go for She Makes Me Feel…Like I Never Sinned as the pick of the litter. Scattered tribal percussion cuts a swathe through a broiling midnight jungle of eastern mystery in search of twisted foot cracking adventures. Raw, oddball and dripping with weird grooves it’s the highlight on another strong release, made even more exciting for being a little unexpected. Class.

Kornél Kovács – Radio Koko (Numbers)

Kornél Kovács is one-third of the brains behind Swedish label Studio Barnhus, an outfit whose dedication to skewed house and left of centre techno has few equals. They were also responsible for the release of the bonkers and brilliant Studio Barnhus Volume 1 by Lukas Nystrand Von Unge a couple of years ago – an act for which they should all be given whatever Sweden has instead of Knighthoods.

He pops up here on Numbers with his own take on house music. Part irrepressibly poppy, part jacking and off-kilter, it’s a record that manages the rare trick of sounding like it would be equally at home in some vast Ibizan glamour pasture as it would in a sweaty subterranean Clydeside funk-pit, which is actually a pretty good match for the sort of stuff Numbers specialize in. While it isn’t quite as off the rails as some of the material his own label has been responsible for – a wee bit of a shame, I think – Radio Koko is still pleasingly off-kilter enough to get a body blow of weird-step in under the radar. Lighthouse’s deep garagey thrum has probably been echoing off a sweaty wall near your ears for a while already alongside the bitter-sweet twist of Pantalon. The one I keep coming back to is the discordant and melancholy half-jack of Gansta which strikes out with a tearful piano riff and growling bass that wrap themselves around memories of summer raves. Music for summer nights, forged with just the right of winter to keep you going and the chill away.

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