Edu Imbernon – Dalt
Label: EklectischScore: 7/10
Truth be told, I’m not generally a big fan of house – in fact I would generally go so far as to saying, as a genre I literally have no time for it. However, every now and again I get sent some banging shit that just moves me. RAMP’s sister label Fourth Wave peddle the kind of vibe I dig and on occasion other things tickle me in strange ways as well.
I was therefore pretty surprised to find myself liking Edu Imberon’s latest release ‘Dalt’ out on his own Eklectisch label. I say I was surprised as the sunshine vibes of Balearic indebted music generally don’t appeal to my laptop tanned urban self, and as a sub-genre – with all the accompanying TV show drivel that revels in the White Isle and co’s so called “hedonistic spirit” – it usually sums up in my mind, everything wrong and commercial about house music in Europe. It’s a genre that conjures up images of pissed up tourists “‘avinit large” at one of Ibiza’s temples of sin and a genre that on the whole says to me “unoriginal dross.”
However, Edu’s EP doesn’t come across like that. There are hints of warped darkness residing under it initially glossy exterior, with the pitch bent synths on the titular “Dalt” for some reason reminding me of Roy Batty in Blade Runner. The track is a progressive number that really does take in a lot of influences from house and beyond, with crusty open hats ushering in an atmospheric half-step snare that really sets the tone before the funky, full on bassline and steady 4×4 pulse come to boss proceedings, with an acidic synth line and the aforementioned pitch-bent synth pad competently acting as the rhythm section’s wingman – Stinson style. Completing the party, and probably the only element present that I bloody hate (and brings back to mind all of the stereotypes that are mentioned above) , is a twangy guitar sample that not only sounds a bit out of place, but has seemingly been placed to provide a moment of breakdown bliss for the hands in the air, up till 6am sunrise Ibiza crew. But hey, that is surely the market he is aiming at so it doesn’t really matter what my own personal prejudices are. However it doesn’t really detract from the piece, it just seems a little clichéd and played out as the rest of the instrumental is stirring, blissful and euphoric without it.
On the flip we see veteran producer John Tejada on remix duties, stripping the original down from its full on, meaty self, into a kinds of techy, introspective version of the original. Utilising the stirring chord progression from the initial tune but adding his own twist on things by manipulating and layering the acid line with other chunky synth tones and stripping the arrangement back to allow the drums to speak, Tejada has created a cold, calculating revision of a pretty warm primary number. He also shows his mastery of suspense and arrangement by breaking down the number at just the right time, retaining the tunes energy, refocusing it and spitting it out the other side in a flurry of deep, heady vibes. Its good shit!
All things said it a nice package, with a nice contrast between hot and cold themes and ideas. I like the fact that Imberon is liberated enough to constantly change up his sounds and themes mid-tune, and isn’t afraid of layering multiple clashing elements on top of each other to create something that is more than the sum of its parts, so hats off to him for that!