Tolga Baklacioglu: Blues EP
Living Records

Having once played in a blues band (Harlot Money) during college and having also named his Living Records outing Blues EP, Turkey-based producer Tolga Baklacioglu clearly feels a strong connection to the genre. But while blues vocal fragments account for part of the sample pool from which he draws for the EP's two originals, the material itself is clearly clubby house music as opposed to blues in the formal sense.

Baklacioglu serves the funk straight up in the tripped-out, hip-swinging opener “I Blues.” Looped vocal samples coil themselves dizzyingly around the breezily charging pulse until the track settles into lockstep position, straying little from its snappy, clockwork mode. The addition of bongos to already swinging rhythms ups the groove ante in Baklacioglu's other original, “You Blues,” while the sparsely distributed vocal samples are less fragmented and consequently bring the track closer to an actual vocal cut than one where voices are used for sonic detail. “You Blues” also gets remixed by Living Records head dub KULT in a clubby version that one might describe as stripped-down, bass-throbbing, and insistent. This one pounds the most of the EP's three tracks, with dub KULT not afraid to open the original up and let some air in by reducing it to a pumping groove and looped vocal swirls.

April 2010