Few things grab my attention like a Benjamin Brunn credit on the sleeve, and it’s particularly nice when they fit as neatly as the one here. Area is an alternate guise for Canadian-born, Chicago-reared DJ/producer m50. I’m not sure what the exact distinction is, but this particular EP — for François K’s Wave Music — traffics in forms of abstracted melodic house not distant from Brunn’s esteemed body of work. Assured opener “LLPOD” has a tense dance floor utility and an almost jazzy swing, but what makes it memorable are the sputters, drips and steam jets animating the background, reminding of the atmospheric eddies of Brunn’s “Raymond.” Its abstracted dub grooves also put me in mind of, for example, Anders Ilar’s “Organza.” Little details similarly animate “Respons,” a simple techno builder that works small wonders with a robotic tintinnabulation bubbling brightly at the track’s surface.
My pick for EP highlight, “Missing A Few” is a lush soundscape whose design draws liberally from ambient electronics and IDM. Marimba-like synth tones, whispy atmospherics, and ghost-in-the-machine whirs and ticks give the track a fog-like drift. But “Missing” isn’t abstract so much as evocative, thanks to a distorted, elastic kick-drum that doggedly structures the diaphanous textures. Warm, shoegaze-dreamy but floor-ready pop, it takes me back to the finds I gladly plucked from Kompakt’s shelves back when I lived in Cologne. And, closing the record, there’s that aforementioned Brunn contribution — only his second remix of which I’m aware. Continuing along the path he’s pursued on recent Bine singles like “77,” Brunn works Farben-style melodic glitch and a fusion disco plunk (a la Isolée’s “Albacares”) into his “LLPOD” overhaul – a welcome compliment to the warm organics of Area’s trio.