Jennifer Cardini & Shonky: Tuesday Paranoia EP
Crosstown Rebels

Chic Miniature: Chic Miniature EP
Crosstown Rebels

Monika Kruse: Changes in Perception Part 2
Terminal M

Ultra-fresh material from the Crosstown Rebels and Terminal M camps. First up are French electronic producers Jennifer Cardini and Shonky who step out with Tuesday Paranoia, their second EP co-production. The title track serves up a snappy club swinger the two prod with a slinky bass part, synth effects both woozy and silky, and a wearily-intoned voiceover that cryptically catalogues the crippling effects of overindulgence (“Sunday: too high, Monday: fuck Monday, Tuesday: paranoia, Wednesday: I feel empty, Thursday: my body hurts, Friday: it's already Friday, Saturday: junkie”). The aptly-titled “Come Down To Earth” eases the suffering partier down gently with a slower and more atmospheric immersion into blurry sonar pings, clanging accents, and softly shuffling beats. The producers' impressive handling of the material is revealed in the progressive intertwining of the track's layers over the eight-minute running time. Jamie Jones then climbs aboard for a “Submerged house mix” of “Tuesday Paranoia” that pushes the original's tripped-out quality to ever-more disorienting levels.

Ernesto Ferreyra and Guillaume Coutu Dumont bring artful invention and Latin-funk-inflected rhythmic twists to their three Chic Miniature tracks. Showcasing that artistry for seven entrancing minutes is “Chanchita,” a clickety techno banger whose dizzying sting is heightened by chopped vocal effects and intricate sonic detail that relentlessly pepper the pounding base. On a more atmospheric tip, “Escandalo” layers sleepily-delivered instructions (“The best way to relax is to lie down upon your bed and stretch out”) over a funky ground whose jacking punch is booted into position by a sweetly pulsating bass attack and jazzy Rhodes touches. The raving tech-house groove charging through “Kimono” isn't so overbearing that the glisten of the tune's plucked melodies gets lost in the shuffle. As intricately designed as the titular Japanese robe, the cut succinctly showcases Chic Miniature's deft fusion of rhythmic rumble and captivating sound design.

Berlin DJ Monika Kruse weighs in with the second of three EP parts, all of them designed to increase anticipation for her upcoming debut solo album Changes of Perception. The cheekily-titled “Spank Me Later” rolls out a bass-heavy strut that grows increasingly acidy while suggestive voice samples (“I know you want it / Are you sure you can take it?”) scatter their distorted remains over the surging tech-house throb broiling underneath. In contrast to the dark current running through “Spank Me Later,” “Morgana” exudes a summery spirit that turns even brighter when the Spanish vocals of Colombian singer Toto la Mompensina join the tune's pumping swing and throbbing synth motif. Underground house and techno the way we like it.

September 2008