Today marks the release of the latest offering on Discobelle Records, Voltron delivers the goods with their stunning debut EP aptly titled “Freshmen EP”. Grab it at our favorite digital music outlet such as Juno.
With influences ranging from Baltimore ghetto beats over gay seventies disco singers to Chicago DJs who overdosed more than 20 years ago, Silverback Recordings co-founders Voltron have no lack of inspiration. Curating some gigantic releases in the past year, the Belgium based trio are now showing their dedication to proper dance music through their Discobelle Records debut release. Dubbed the “Freshmen EP”, it’s actually anything but – a series of blazing and polished “UK-garage-meets-soulful-house-in-the-bathroom-of-a-rave” productions that showcase a vibrant dancefloor energy as well a depth perfectly suited to headphones. Call “Be For Real” the futuristically techy goth house version of “Mr. Me Too” by the Clipse if you wanna, only replace the “uh huhs” with an infectious female vocal hook, shimmering filter sweeps and a rising and falling synth line that makes you feel like your vertebrae is crumpling in on itself. Similarly, the flip track “Don’t Stop” could popularize the term “sophistigarage” with its piercing, darting percussive strength. Employing some bashy drums around the edges of chopped stuttering vocals and echoing xylophone vibes, it feels and sounds like part of the feverish dreams of a hungover diva on a Sunday afternoon in New York.
On remix duties, Manchester native XXXY weaves some magic following his breakout “You Always Start It/Ordinary Things” EP on Ten Thousand Yen with a tune destined for many repeat plays. Wisely letting the vocals get carried along a landslide of hazy, organically textured house, XXXY plays up the longing-filled vocal hook before setting down some acid washed bursts on some kind of futuristic electronic xylophone.
And like emergency room medics speeding through the backalleys of LA in a rickety ambulance with fake plates, Nguzunguzu jolt some new life into “Be For Real” with blazingly fast blasts of pulsating loops simulating what it’s like to have a defibrillator pressed against you for five minutes. Catchy and rife with urgency, it sounds like coming out from a near-death experience with cardiac arrest or what it feels like to have a 135bpm irregular heartbeat.
Meanwhile, The Phantom brings forward an effortlessly danceable jam that weaves in and out of a dubby, garage basement sound. Punctuated by a “HA” sound effect that could be equally at home in a Proxy track, it’s the one that might get you jacking your body without even realizing you’re doing it.
On a similar tip, J Dixon attacks “Be For Real” with a barrage of cowbells and percussion, only to drop everything and let the vocoder vocals come through and then build up a conga-backed, maraca shaking quiltwork of sound.
Finally Ultravid’s interpretation is a slice of the musical “new flesh”, straight out of videodrome: pulsating drums melding with human flesh and lazerlike synths colliding with human voices in the middle of a dark dancefloor. Long after the track’s over, the vocals will be rattling around inside the misty recesses of your head.
The fellas did a mix to promote the release, and it’s been spinned repeatedly here at Discobelle HQ.