VA: Köln 1

Founded by DJ-producer Damiano von Erckert, Ava could be a seen as somewhat of a label ambassador for Cologne's house music scene. Certainly Köln 1 makes a strong argument in that regard, given that the concept driving the twelve-inch vinyl release involves highlighting the work of four house artists from Cologne, specifically Murat Tepeli, Andy Vaz, Martin Beume, and von Erckert himself.

Tepeli's "Reeds Driftin' On" opens the disc with a slightly acid-soaked and percussion-heavy groover that grows increasingly ear-catching when a melodica-styled riff enters the funky fray. “Only” by Andy Vaz offers a tasty sampling of the Yore main man's deep house side, pairing as it does a springy bass-powered pulse with vocal samples and classic house-styled piano chords. The Ava founder takes the B-side's pole position with the EP's hardest-hitter, the aptly titled “Damiano von ER,” whose thunderous synthesizer and bass pulses roar mightily for seven minutes. Beume sneaks a bit of humour into the release by inaugurating “Hey Bobby” with a slew of cheeky spoken word samples before getting down to business with a midtempo stomp whose crisp snap is club-ready, to put it mildly. It's worth noting that while Ava is committed to featuring the productions of Cologne-based artists, it's not averse to spotlighting the work of others too, with figures like Lowtec and Christopher Rau also represented. Such a solid outing suggests that we'll be hearing more from Ava in the future.

May 2012