Nuage: So Long
Translation Recordings

So Long, the latest Nuage EP by Dmitry Kuzmin, finds the Saint Petersburg, Russia-based producer shifting the focus from the drum'n'bass-heavy sound of Music of Branches to house music and other related realms. In another critical sense, however, nothing has changed: the EP material is as artful and as thoughtfully crafted as the material featured on that 2013 full-length.

Kuzmin has a distinctive style that's manifested in the way he arranges musical phrases and samples into rich, resplendent wholes. That's clearly evident in the opening track “Last Seen” in the way he builds a handful of elements—a clipped sample of a soft woman's voice, a warm horn phrase, percussive details, piano chords—into a serenading set-piece of experimental house atmospheres. Having brought the listener on side with that dreamy intro, Kuzmin sets his sights on a pair of effervescent deep house tracks: “Compared,” which showcases his talent for sequencing vocal edits into arresting patterns, and “Unexperience,” which brings vocalist Ellie into the fold for a slinky house jam. The latter offers her a grand opportunity to spread her raspy wail across Kuzmin's energized backing, but true to his Nuage self, the producer also can't resist chopping her voice into snippets in a few places, too. At EP's end, “So Long,” the EP's most experimental piece, finds Kuzmin threading piano sprinkles, hi-hat sizzle, and doctored voices into a near-blinding, melancholic array that's almost too overloaded with detail.

Though his enthusiasm for sound design almost gets the better of him in the last track, it also shows him to be someone who brings no shortage of ideas and imagination to his productions. Here's hoping So Long is a harbinger of what's to come on his forthcoming album Prints of You.

January 2014