Dexima: Can't Deny
Petite Records

From the Paris-based imprint Petite Records—how's that for humility?—comes a very impressive EP outing from DJ-producer Dexima (also Petite label's co-founder) with a little remix assistance from Mlle Caro. As lithe and graceful as a jaguar in full flight, the fabulous opener “Can't Deny” rolls out eight minutes of bass-pumping skullduggery with a hypnotic, see-sawing synth motif the dark spectre haunting the exuberant vocal. It's a dynamic headrush of a tune that makes the strongest possible argument for Dexima's particular brand of high-energy electrohouse—though it's not the only one to do so. Strong too is “Stratosfear,” whose slinky pulse Dexima stabs with house chords and clipped vocal edits, with “Into the stratosfear” reduced to an incessant stream of “fear” accents. To her credit Mlle Caro does give the “Stratosfear” original a radical twist by reimagining it as a loping, rock-inflected jam rather than simply adding a noise or two as a lazier remixer might. But having said that, the laid-back result can't help but sound a tad lackluster when played alongside the hard-grooving attack of Dexima. One final change-up occurs when Dexima closes the EP with “Around U,” a wonky techno throwdown whose vocal line “I just wanna be around” expresses a desire for inclusion we can all pretty much relate to. Add it up and you've got twenty-seven minutes of quality material, though it's also probably no accident that the EP's two strongest cuts, “Can't Deny” and “Stratosfear,” are the ones that come first.

March 2014