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CIOZ – Focus Pocus / Warm Worm (Get Physical)

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I’ve been a fan of Italian producer CIOZ for some time. Releases on Monaberry, Stil vor Talent and Crosstown Rebels tell a story, as does collaborations with other talented producers like Superflu. The straight-up quality of this style of music, producers and labels is in the sweet spot for me. Tribal, driving, dance-floor friendly (if you like strobe ladened, sweaty dancefloors), innovative and just great quality (read non-cheesy).

The excellent Get Physical label has been a curation machine of gems for some time now, keeping a solid approach to A&R and usually coming up with the goods. This EP is a snapshot of the forthcoming ‘Body Language’ album lovingly crafted by CIOZ himself. There are two tracks here, both collaborations, no remixes – just killer music.

The lead track with CIOZ, a collaboration with Boy Oh Boy almost as beat perfect a record as you’ll hear this year. When I hit play it wandered over, leant on my desk and slapped me hard. ‘Focus Pocus‘ has a definite sense of humour, so it did it with a cheeky grin.

The effect was the same, it got my attention in no uncertain terms. ‘Focus Pocus‘ is house music, maybe a little tech-house, a little techno perhaps even a little of deep house or progressive. I don’t really care, it has things that shouldn’t work, guitars, glockenspiel type noises, chants, big layered pads, growling analogue riffs and round bass tones. Somehow it all hangs together in a clean way with an arrangement that sends itself off into the stratosphere like it’s got a jet engine strapped onto the bottom end. Huge.

The second collab with native South African Sides is another bass-led, dancefloor melter. Perhaps a little less immediate, more of a grower, but the CIOZ hallmarks are there; masterclass arrangement, subtle melodies, solid bass and big lead. Simple, yet effective ‘Warm Worm’ is a mid-to-peak time floor worker. I don’t know how CIOZ stacks in so many sounds, orchestral pads, dub-delays, LFO affected lead all underpinned with that CIOZ driving drum bed.

Not one but two rocking tracks, each different but playable in the same set.

I can’t wait to see what CIOZ does next and take a peek at the upcoming ‘Body Language‘ album. I do know he’s a reliable talent and that makes me happy.

Miss this, you guessed it, at your peril.

Score: 9/10

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