Pavemental: Streeteepy

Active since the late ‘90s, Slovenian producer Jernej Marusic has issued a number of albums under the experimental-dub-techno alias Octex (Organic Crackle and Tone EXperiments), including two on rx:tx (2005's Variations, 2009's Every Sound Tells A Story) and most recently one on Entropy Records (2012's Dead Center Of Nowhere). Marusic's taken on a new alias, Pavemental, for the Streeteepy EP, whose five tracks are informed by a hip-hop aesthetic and recast the producer as a streetwise beatmaker. Adding to the release's appeal, the twelve-inch vinyl pressing arrives housed within an artfully coloured inner sleeve and an equally attractive die-cut cover design.

The twenty-two-minute outing gets off to a strong start with “50-50,” a sultry slice of late-night beat swagger armed with flurries of percussive detail, silken synth flourishes, and the purring vocal acrobatics of one Monika Horvat. Smeared with crackle, “Monster Walk” effects an especially indolent crawl, though springs to life with repeated blasts of energy, while “Fakie” dazzles the listener with shuddering cross-currents of beats, synths, and guitars. With loping cuts such as “Darkslide” and “Varial” rich in bass rumble, trippy synth fire, and downtempo beat lope, Marusic's clearly got that whole head-nod vibe down to a tee, and snappy, Dilla-fied material of such incident-rich kind is always welcome in this neck o' the woods.

April 2015