T he new year has arrived, and with it a renewed slate for producers and DJ’s to make their mark. Songs from relative unknowns Rolbac & Etchar and up-and-comers Fur Coat have kicked off 2016 right.
Lebanon’s Rolbac and Jordan’s Etchar are essentially putting their best and first foot forward with their release of their “Elements” EP on Einmusika. Both “Oriental Pearl” and “Elements” are relatively minimalistic tracks, with the former sparingly but effectively using synths to add a weird edge. “Oriental Pearl” builds a solid groove throughout the song without having to do much in the way of variety, demonstrating that even the most simplistic combinations of sounds amount to something with much greater personality than the parts alone. The track’s subtle addition of a dark, muffled vocal is a great example of this and is sure to breathe life on a dance floor. “Elements” leans more heavily on the minimal and is quite similar to “Oriental Pearl” in the aforementioned respects. It’s less effective at creating a tone to vibe to because its use of repetition arguably sticks out more and relies on the breakdowns to mix things up. However, both tracks at least avoid the problem of trying too hard; one just happens to be more boring than the other.
Fur Coat made waves with its release of “U Turn” last year, and with what I perceived as a relatively uninspired string of releases they’ve taken another shot with “Hoverboard” on Sasha’s Last Night on Earth label. Fitting the more progressive tone of the label but with clear techno connotations, “Hoverboard” does an admirable job of wrapping up 2015 for the Venezuelan duo. They’ve always gone for a grittier sound with their past releases but had failed to capture the unforgettable, enigmatically eerie buildup of “U Turn.” This release is similar in focusing its energy in the buildup and successfully gets the blood flowing but stands apart with its harder bassline.