March 2, 2007

Carsten Jost / Efdemin – Split EP


The happy Hamburg-ers at Dial have always shown a cryptic interest in deep house, but until recently it’s a feeling that bubbled up as an interpreted influence, rather than an openly presented take. But listen to Lawrence’s betalounge DJ set from last year, and the open embrace of this foundational sound is becoming obvious. Dial is digging the deep house of old.

The “Split” EP perfectly complements this gesture, offering a pair of tracks at once openly reverential and unapologetically, distinctively their own. The tracks have an inverse relation to each other in a sense: Jost’s begins with a conga-led groove that could easily be Moodyman, but the Detroit house thang slowly subsides as Carsten piles on the blue notes and reverb, finally adding sibilant tambourines on every beat and more melancholy piano. It’s a return to form of sorts that sees Jost re-capturing the lovely gloom of his criminally under-rated You don’t need a weatherman… album.

Efdemin’s track, on the other hand, begins sounding light-years away from the deep house vibe—the intro has more in common with the silicon dryness of Donnacha Costello’s recent 6×6 release. The angular pixelfunk nods along for a few minutes (enough time for Magda to play six tracks over the top), before a (you guessed it) blue sounding melody intrudes, giving absolutely no forewarning for the sudden interjection of a Chicago-style “house nation” preachapella. The contrast between the outrageously sparse rhythmic arrangement and the vocal works a treat. More than that though, the “splitness” of the EP somehow belies a synthesis between the old and the new, between the happy and blue, and also between Jost and Efdemin’s work. For all these reasons, it’s another superb EP from Dial.

Dial / dial 34
[Peter Chambers]


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