It seems that the days of being pleasantly surprised by the successes of brands born in Bristol are not over. Banoffee Pies started their parties under two years ago and have only recently started their label wing, but with their second VA EP (from Junk Yard Connections-affiliated Adam Strömstedt and Alan Delius), they are stamping their mark on the house and techno scene in a major way.
The strength of the whole EP is that each track explores a different idea and has its own identity within the whole release, yet they all seem to work together. The three offerings by Adam Strömstedt are perhaps more ready for the dancefloor, with vocal samples taken from some very interesting places. For its stem, ‘Scuze Me’ uses a vocal from ‘The Boy Is Mine‘ by Brandy & Monica – a late 90s R&B hit that doesn’t ordinarily lend itself to the dancefloor. Starting with just the vocal and layering kicks, synth and percussion, the track is soothing and danceable at the same time. ‘The 3rd Bass’ takes a much more breakbeat approach to the rest, exploring the Derelicts of Dialect track of the same name.
The jewel in the crown is ‘Reflektioner 17.19’, which, although being 133 bpm, is a comforting take on a variety of techno that is currently taking the UK by storm. Cleverly using cuts from Erykah Badu’s ‘On & On‘ the track has a very healthy kick drum coupled with a beautiful muffled woodblock percussion to create a track that instantly has you tapping your feet. The heavy filtering of the vocal and the panning from right to left of the sound (try on headphones) makes it a heady but intelligent techno anthem that wouldn’t be out of place on any dancefloor.
Alan Delius’ two offerings are slightly slower than Strömstedt’s, but afford them a more easy-listening quality. ‘Joe Doesn’t Pass’ uses amazing guitar melodies and a strong kick and percussive elements with vocal to brilliant effect. ‘When We’ employs piano chords and brilliantly timed hi-hats to flesh out the perfect vocal, filtering in and out of focus.
Each track on BP02 caters to a slightly different audience but, through skilful A&R work on Banoffee Pies’ part, comes together to form an accomplished EP from start to finish. ‘Reflektioner’ takes the prize at STW HQ, for it’s laid-back approach to a sound that dominates UK dancefloors at the minute, but each track deserves its own credit.
BP02 is out now, available at Juno and most other good record stores. Stream ‘Reflektioner 17.19 in full above and listen to clips of the whole EP below. The next Banoffee Pies party welcomes Rhythm Section to Bristol on 21st February, with Bradley Zero and Al Dobson Jr.