Phasen: Sunshine EP
Dublin Xpress Recordings

Florida-based producer Ryan Parmer's been busy of late preparing new Phasen material of rather contrasting character for two equally contrasting labels: Sunshine, the five-track EP on Dublin Xpress Recordings, concentrates on the clubbier side of his music, whereas the one for U-Cover

It's a bit unusual to see a remix up first rather than the artist's original, but we won't complain when the overhaul's so satisfying. Gainesville, Florida resident Refurb (real name Lucien Wegner) gets things moving with a luscious, Detroit-styled take on Phasen “Deep Nights” that's rich in chunky chords and powered by burbling, low-riding bass pulses and deep and hard-grooving rhythms (apparently, a Phasen-Refurb full-length collaboration is in the works so hopefully the EP cut offers a hint of the kind of material we might hear when the album's released).

True to its name, “Sunshine” struts jubilantly as it makes its way through an uptempo paradise of joyous synth melodies and nimble-footed beat patterns. Parmer dresses up the material with a reverberant and radiant blend of rich ambient colour, synth washes, and dubwise atmosphere. If anything, “Deep Tides” moves the Phasen sound even deeper into the dubby side of things when waves of echoing chords sweep across the track's darkening horizon. That it does so doesn't obscure, however, the house elements that also appear, such as the vocal snippets that function as part of the track's dense textural design. By contrast, the smooth'n'sleek “Doppelbock” pushes the Phasen sound into a rather jazzier zone without sacrificing the tune's house essence. At EP's end, Mick Chillage (among other things, a Psychonavigation artist and co-host of Ireland's longest-running electronic radio show, The Chillage, Idiots) cuts the tempo of “Deep Tides” in half for a thoroughly blissed-out, rootsy, and dub-soaked ride through the tropics.

January 2012