Karol XVII & MB Valence: Plastic Age EP
Loco Records

The seventieth release on Loco Records, Karol XVII & MB Valence's Plastic Age EP presents three artful and thoughtfully sequenced tracks that do more than just lay out a groove and drive it into the ground. At the same time, their huge bass presence ensures that they're more than up to the challenge of filling the club space.

Oozing slinky soul, “The Bar Around the Corner” (written and produced by Stereofonik) overlays a crisp tech-house bounce with a tasty bass part, mystery-laden synth stabs, and a jazzy electric piano solo. Multiple twists and turns ensue over the course of its six minutes, making for an always stimulating and, yes, even seductive ride. A little less tightly wound by comparison, the middle cut “Simple Minds” (written and produced by Soultunes) rolls out a relaxed groove, female vocal accents (“Simple”), piano chords, and synth flares before going deeper with the added growl of a chunky bass line. “Days Without You” (written and produced by Deeprisoner) brightens the mood with a bouncy groove whose swing is bolstered by percussive detail—even when it's plunging down the rabbit hole in its weirder moments. Confronted with the track's distorted vocal accents and tiny cuckoo motif, one can't help but recall Alice's “Curiouser and curiouser!” comment.

March 2013