Cherry: Alex EP

Japanese artist Cherry (aka Teruyuki Kurihara) joins Bristol 's Four:Twenty label for a fifty-minute “EP” of electronic body music (six originals, two remixes) that amply lives up to the acronym's “extended player” meaning. In Cherry's “Alex” original, burbling keyboard melodies sparkle and dance while a minimal pulse skips alongside, at first keeping it simple so as not to derail the melodic action. The track quickly gains momentum, however, with keyboards that seem to almost liquefy and melt into one and surging beats that move briskly from a trot to a gallop. A tiny snippet of Cherry's keyboards appears at the start of Nick Curly's even better remix before the Mannheim producer rolls out a seriously funky groove replete with vocal motif, stomping kick drum, and a two-note bass throb that's gorgeous. Dropouts ensue and the tension mounts in Curly's delicious treatment, after which Ruthit serves up a sunnier, deep house version of same. The originals that follow bring Cherry's lithe style into stronger focus: Kurihara gets out his kalimba for some intricate pattern-making in the serpentine house charger “Conona,” works a high-velocity bass pulse into the darker and spacier vibe of “D2,” kicks up minimal Motor City dust in the sultry groover “I Hope” (its late-inning throb the best part), and rounds it out with the jacking step of “Smoke.”

May 2009