Even by his own prolific standards, Ricardo Miranda has been keeping especially busy in 2011. The first half of the year saw the Chicago native releasing on Hour House Is Your Rush, Quintessentials, Reincarnation, Neroli, and his own Noble Square Recordings. But to my ears the producer’s most essential 2011 record so far was first issued in 2010 as part of Rick Wilhite’s Vibes – New & Rare Music compilation for Rush Hour. “Urbanism” was an obvious standout, and so Miranda astutely decided to repackage it with remixes and a new original for his own imprint.
“Urbanism” stands in contrast to the harder, more frenetic sounds of his Hour House singles, wafting in like a summer’s breeze that carries ambient noises from the porch it’s enjoyed on. A light canopy of shakers, claps and brushed hi-hats cover a rising melody that drops an octave at crucial points before climbing back to its peak. Accompanied by the caress of string lines and twinkling leads, the track conceals its meticulous construction inside the carefree atmosphere it conjures. Argentinian producer Hernan Cronner and Miranda collaborate as Chiba, dragging “Urbanism” into the basement to toughen up its drums while the hook drifts in. Daryl Cura’s remix takes a microscopic view, adding percussion and an irritating whine to the single bar he loops throughout. Miranda’s “You Are Your Art” is as graceful as the title track, its vaporous tones flowing around a nagging synth progression and cymbal crashes. So while the mediocre remixes just make an excellent tune shine brighter, the Urbanism EP is worth owning for Miranda’s exceptional originals.