Jonas Bering & Kate Simko: Cityscape
Kupai Musika

Flavius E: Indicios
Kupai Musika

Cityscape's a little bit like the pas de deux Matthew Dear and Ellen Allien performed on their Just A Man, Just A Woman EP, with one key difference: whereas their highly-anticipated two-step produced a relatively underwhelming result (attributable, in part, to unreasonably high expectations), the split EP by Jonas Bering and Kate Simko doesn't disappoint and, if anything, exceeds expectations. Similar in structure to Just A Man, Just A Woman, Cityscape includes originals by Bering and Simko accompanied by remixes of each other's tracks. Bering's “Take My Hand” opener exultantly glides on a two-toned, backbeat swirl of shimmering vibraphone figures and chugging ride cymbals, after which Simko's title track steps up with a marvelous marriage of Latin-tinged techno-funk beats and Detroit synth gleam. Simko's “Take My Hand” makeover drags it onto the dance floor, deepening the swinging groove without losing the original's identity, while Bering turns “Cityscape” into a stomping, streamlined colossus.

Argentinean Flavius E (Flavio Etcheto) makes a strong impression too with his first solo EP for Kupei Musika, the snappy and sophisticated Indicios 12-inch. Etcheto keeps his eye firmly on the dance floor while also injecting his tech-house material with subtle Latin swing. Buenos Aires producer Dany Nijesohn lends a hand on the fabulous opener “Ocres,” a banging tech-house cut that alternates a croaking drawl and stabbing synth smears, and that's followed by the slightly less audacious “DNI Rosa” and “Carbon” where the focus is directed towards deepening the songs' low-slung, gyrating grooves. Chilean Andres Bucci joins in for a closing “Ocres” remix that reduces the original to its skeleton and then nicely dresses it up in vintage Detroit techno garb with crisp 909 drum patterns and acidy bass lines.

August 2007