Jorge C, A Little Beat

[Ojo de Apolo]

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While Jorge Cortés’ Ojo de Apolo label may not get the kind of press another renowned Chilean label garners, it has slowly been picking up steam by moving in an entirely different direction. Cortés’ approach stems from a conscious effort to reach out beyond the South American country’s small house scene and tap into a global network of other like-minded artists. But maybe more importantly is an aesthetic that steers away from the region’s inherent tropical, ethno-tribal leanings to focus on deep, minimal house and techno. And with a recent 12″ by Reggie Dokes and remixes from Kai Alce and Hauke Freer on two previous releases, the label’s scope has begun to migrate to even deeper terrain. This newest release strikes a path somewhere between the label’s early minimal techno and its newer deep house sounds.

After the Detroit house-centric Más Música on Matrix in 2009, Cortés returns under the Jorge C alias to expand his take on deep house. “Up Up Up” is a bouncy rhythmic track delving into percussive sleight of hand as it changes patterns between measures. A repeating series of keyboard melodies and a springy wah-wah effect add slightly to the bass and rhythm textural exchange, but a final pay off is never achieved. On “A Little Beat,” Cortés takes up a similar tact but employs a more pronounced sub-bass, shimmering open hi-hats and delayed cowbell to develop the groove. But it isn’t until the breakdown and a build up that the track really takes off, building the intensity of the rhythm, highlighting the Rhodes organ and bringing the bass line up in the mix to create a rewarding interplay.

Terre Thaemlitz’s “The World Is Over DJ Sprinkles Megamix” is appropriately transported to the DJ Sprinkles sonic universe while managing to retain some of the major elements of the original track. Where Thaemlitz diverges is by extending it to nearly 16 minutes and introducing a kaleidoscopic piano melody in the first couple minutes that has a great fluidity, enveloped by soaring pads, before stripping it down to the original’s Rhodes echoing chords, flittering hi-hats and rotund sub-bass pulse. A series of classic and urgent vocal samples provide a touchstone to Thaemlitz’s own oeuvre and ends up sitting comfortably next to the dynamic rhythm flow. The mix may seem too long to some but there is an amazing cohesiveness to it that mirrors much of her own productions and compliments the original. With more well thought out collaborations like this, Cortés’ label may well change perceptions on what it means to put out records in the southern hemisphere.

James  on April 8, 2011 at 5:25 AM

I have never heard of Jorge Cortés or Ojo de Apolo before but this is fantastic. Loving the EP and the DJ Sprinkles remix is one for the late night dancers!

Andrey Radovski  on January 30, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Sprinkles mix is unreal – again

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