Lerosa: Façade EP
Uzuri Recordings

Leopoldo Rosa's third Lerosa release on the Uzuri label, the twelve-inch Façade EP, should serve as a harbinger of what's to come on the full-length he's currently readying for the label, as the EP's four tracks were recorded in tandem with work on the album. It's a classy affair that by design exemplifies Rosa's love for Chicago house, and specifically Trax material issued during the late-‘80s.

An acidy bass line gets “Facade” rolling, after which other elements move in rapidly. Sizzling hi-hats and claps deepen the Chicago house feel while synth smears and echo effects inject the tune with futuristic and dub-wise ambiance. Mutiple synth melodies criss-cross as the track grows ever more intricate without losing its basic forward momentum. In its opening moments, “I Care” appears in its micro-voice sample to riff off of Kraftwerk's “Boing Boom Tschak,” but the track's focus quickly shifts to its slinky groove, with Lerosa coupling a bubbling bass line to prototypical house piano chords and a near-subliminal vocal presence. After a stripped-down intro, “Rex” overlays its jacking pulse with a glowing synth theme, double-time hi-hats, and an undeniably funky dance feel. Throughout its six-minute run, Lerosa keeps things interesting by switching up the arrangement, playfully adding details here and dropping them out here. “Tanned Legs” distances itself somewhat from the other tracks by trading the Chicago feel for a less fixed location—until, that is, Lerosa augments the tune's skipping drum track and voice samples with a gurgling 303 and claps. If the proposed full-length can match the quality of the EP's material, it should be a splendid album indeed.

December 2010