Frankey & Sandrino Nova EP (Watergate Records)
Frankey & Sandrino are one of my favourite production outfits of the last few years. They encompass everything I like about electronic music; deep, interesting, full of groove without being too obvious. Add the stamp of approval from Watergate the label, a remix from Tiefschwarz and you have my undivided attention.
Watergate Records are doing great things, by doing simple things. They release music from the DJs who do the business in the club, and why not? It seems not only sensible to stay close to what you know and love but also to promote the artists who they give a live platform, with recorded music.
If you’ve been to Watergate [Berlin] on a Thursday you’ll most like have heard Frankey & Sandrino supplying the soundtrack. It wouldn’t have been a million miles away from the bleepy deepness on the ‘Nova EP’.
There are three original tracks and one remix on the EP. All of them are firmly in the Frankey & Sandrino domain, but with some excellent variety. If you’re looking for homogonised tech-house get another place to look. Close your eyes and open your ears, this is diverse, bottom-rumbling house music.
The lead track ‘Chimes’ is not my favourite from the EP. I understand why it’s the lead track with its ear-worm melody and its ‘Plastic Dreams’ riff. I love the firing snares and rolling groove but the lightness of the melody doesn’t fit the Frankey & Sandrino darker sound.
‘Nova’ captures the essence that is missing on ‘Chimes’. Throbbing with bass, and drenched in analogue it’s deep groove personified. There are some cool treated percussion elements, that spiral up and down and lush arpeggios in the breakdown that give it some excellent movement. Don’t expect hands in the air, this is a worker track, all about the soul of the bleep and the bass of the groove.
‘Tiefschwarz’ turn in their usual quality production on their remix of ‘Chimes’. It doesn’t really gel until the breakbeat kicks in about half way through and pow, it takes off with a whizz and pop of rave and an underbelly of sub. A powerful remix.
Finally ‘Black Hole’ steals the show with a low-slung breaks track overflowing with lush strings, bleepy arpeggios and old-school snares. I’m transported to a rainy night in London driving through the back streets on the way home from a sweaty underground club. There’s a timeless element here, simple, unrushed, uncrowded. If being the last track on the EP keeps ‘Black Hole’ a secret I’m all for it, but surely this should have been the lead track.
Stellar stuff from Frankey & Sandrino. Long may they continue their bleepy, deep form.