There’s much to be said for the feeling when an eagerly anticipated record finally drops. The air of expectation when presented with a postal slip upon arriving home, rushing to the nearest collection point and finally holding that slab of wax, pressing it down on the platter and pressing play.
Equally as rewarding, is to be completely taken aback by a record when it first blips on the radar. This is how Esoteric Audio Research EP, from Parisian musician and D.KO label owner Flabaire, came to my attention. Innocuously sitting on the Phonica new releases section, one listen was enough to have me hooked by this stripped back, groovy house music.
What’s really striking about the EP is the musical diversity. Our favourite, premiered in full here, is final track ‘Morning Lights’. Shuffling hi hats, woodblocks and low end synths drift as they please, applying tension before a glorious key progression sends the track into euphoric territory. These elements, along with the French vocal samples that interludes in the breakdown, blends to create a introspective, deep track, perfect for warming up or down a party.
Elsewhere, lead track ‘About Myself’ invites listeners into a dreamy soundscape with drawn out oscillations on the synthesiser, piano loops and crunchy hi-hats before a sumptuous acid line comes from nowhere, effortlessly holding centre stage till lights down. It’s ambient bliss packaged into a 4/4 offering, and fans of Lobster Theremin should sit up and take note. ‘Kemia Fever’ then throws this blueprint out the window, instead employing jacking hi-hats, tough kicks and a funky guitar riff to ramp up the energy levels. Disco house at its finest, reminiscent of Soundsteam’s best offerings on his eponymous label.