Rone: So So So

Rone's EP distills the essence of everything that's wonderful about InFiné into three short tracks. On melodic grounds, So So So's music sparkles, and though the EP's tracks may be rooted in dance music, they're not constrained by it either. To top it off, there's a sophistication and polish to Erwan Castex's material that places it a tier above your everyday electronic dance music. This is the first new material from the Paris-based producer in a while, appearing as it does after the release of his 2008 Bora and 2009 La Dame Blanche EPs and 2009's Spanish Breakfast debut album.

The title cut is So So So 's go-to track, and at seven minutes takes the listener on a slightly longer ride than the other two. Castex gives the tune a house gallop that nicely complements its silvery synthetic surfaces and then works a classy piano part into the breakdown before firing up the engine for an even more on-fire and clap-happy second half. It's a shape-shifter for sure—I count at least four contrasting sections within the piece—that nevertheless manages to retain a sense of uniformity despite its mutating character. Castex bolsters the nocturnal ambiance of “Nakt” by including the sound of a cigarette being lit, prompting one to visualize a dark Paris alleyway suddenly illuminated by the match's flame. Atmospheric details aside, the track itself sparkles radiantly as it glides smoothly through the night-time, its synthesizer elements progressively swelling as it moves surreptitiously throughout the capital. “Planet Zoo” swings even more jubilantly than the other two, the funky spring in its step suggestive of a glorious summer afternoon strolling the city's streets. Though the EP's only sixteen minutes in total, it nevertheless bodes well for the sophomore full-length Castex has been sketching out since last autumn.

May 2011