Minus – 95 (Local Records)

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Bucharest-based electronic producer Minus has spent the last five years releasing a slew of download only EPs on the Arhiva7 netlabel, and this latest five track EP on the Romanian Local Records label sees him offering up a collection that leans distinctly towards more delicate, leftfield hip-hop influences. ’23 Estival’ opens proceedings here with a wash of glittering melodic tones, warm bass runs and wonky midtempo house rhythms that sits somewhere between Four Tet and Flying Lotus, wheezing live horns gliding against murmuring electronics, before ‘Soveja’ drops things down into a lazy downbeat hip-hop groove that sends a sampled loop of children playing rolling against icy synth riffs, vocoders and rich funk bass swells in what’s easily one of this EP’s more smoky, triphop-informed moments. Elsewhere, ‘Hasdeu’ sees female RNB vocals getting pitch-shifted and stuttered against a sheeny backdrop of melodic synth stabs and rattling hiphop rhythms ala Jimmy Edgar, while ‘Teatrul De Vara’ takes things straight back down into deep, swaggering dub as smooth baritone ragga vocals rise up majestically amidst squelching analogue synths, languid lovers’ rock riffs and delayed-out snare hits. Finally, it’s ‘Neptun’ that offers up what’s easily this EP’s most bizarre moment, shifting from driving Euro-pop synths and clattering 80s power-rock syn-drums before suddenly breaking down into the original version of Whitney Houston’s ‘The Power Of Love.’ Yes, THAT one. While it’s sometimes hard to work out exactly where Minus is aiming here, 95 certainly contains its fair share of intriguing moments. You can download 95 for free from http://localrec.ro/?p=194

Chris Downton

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A dastardly man with too much music and too little time on his hands

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