Phasen: Twenty-One EP

On the Twenty One EP, Ryan Parmer embraces a house style that's considerably more dubbed-out (and soulful, too) than what we've heard before from the Florida-based producer (and co-manager of Unnamed Label Records). Though Parmer has built up an impressive string of Phasen releases since 2007, he's only in his early twenties and so is still a work-in-progress; having said that, the three solidly crafted tracks on this three-inch disc prove that he's come a long way in a short time.

Getting things off on the right foot, early riser “6AM Sunrise” jumps to attention with a wide-eyed blend of insistent beats, soulful vocal stabs, and all manner of bright synthetic colour. A mid-track organ break adds a bit of melancholy to “Blue Thangs,” but it's otherwise a snappy mid-tempo stepper that likewise sweetens vocal interjections with luscious synthetic atmospheres. Like the other two pieces, “In Too Deep For Sleep” finds Parmer drenching the track's beat rambunction in thick swirls of dubby chords and reverb. At ten minutes, this longest of the three tracks is the most intense and the closest to being a straight-up club banger in its mix of thumping bass lines and ever-percolating grooves. Carefree in spirit and sleek in design, the EP's material glides by breezily.

February 2012