Abyss: Birdsong
Buzzin' Fly

Vahagn: Relapse
Buzzin' Fly

Five years after the appearance of Abyss's debut single Mind Games, Naples producer Giuspeppe Morabtio (who's also released material on Lilith and Parquet Recordings) returns with a choice follow-up, Birdsong, featuring remixes by fellow Buzzin Fly' cohorts Snoretex and Flowers and Sea Creatures. Morabtio's “Birdsong” original sashays in with pounding drums, percussion, and bass throb, before a Latin-tinged piano and sexy vocal exhalations fill out the picture resplendently. The whole thing oozes a summery, late-night vibe in a track that would be as natural a fit for Ibiza as New York. The track alternates thereafter between breakdowns and lazer-focused propulsion, with the wordless vocal elements split between an almost subliminal female and more dominant male. Snoretex (Sam Willis) dishes out a remix whose keyboards first flicker dazedly before righting itself for a six-minute lesson in smooth'n'funky house. Willis lubricates the groove with slinky hi-hats and bass rumble until it becomes a rich and soulful jam that'll get bodies twitching whether they like it or not. Montreal outfit Flowers and Sea Creatures (singer-lyricist Graham Baxter and musician-producer Kosta Megalos) gives “Birdsong” an enveloping ambient makeover whose piano motif and billowing atmosphere feel like the perfect soundtrack for the morning-after comedown. Needless to say, it's solid stuff all the way around, so much so that one hopes it won't be another five years before the next Buzzin' Fly material from Abyss appears.

The label's other new EP dropped into Buzzin' Fly's lap circuitously by way of Brooklyn producer Nick Chacona, who happened to be on hand when Vahagn's “Relapse” recently decimated a Portugal dance-floor. The track, the creative spawn of Lisbon-based Armenian newcomer Vahagn Voskerchyan, also receives remix workouts from Dana Ruh and, yes, Chacona too. Voskerchyan's tasty original gets things moving by spiking a hard-grooving stomp with a burbling bass pulse, pitter-pattering house rhythms, sizzling arpeggios, and rich, creamy stabs, with the result eight minutes of trance-inducing euphoria. In her snappy remix, Dana Ruh, who's issued tracks on Ostgut Ton, Baracca and her own Brouqade Records, offers a taste of what we can expect from her own upcoming Buzzin' Fly release. In this context, Ruh serves up a thumping treatment that initially flirts with minimal before getting funky when the focus shifts to a hard-grooving bass line and hi-hat sizzle. All in all, the remix generally opts for a more late-night/early-morning feel in a treatment more designed to soothe than frazzle listeners. By comparison, the mix by Chacona (who previously appeared on Buzzin' Fly in 2007 alongside Sasse as The Green Men) is pure peak-time breeziness, a radiant slice of summery splendour that's got its top down and cruise control set. Both EPs are quality outings from a label empire that keeps building, one EP (or occasional full-length or compilation) at a time, and rarely if ever disappoints.

August 2011