Dana Ruh: Kickboxing EP
Buzzin' Fly

The Buzzin' Fly production line has been operating with regulated precision and machine-like efficiency the past little while, given the recent releases by Abyss and Vahagn, and the label's next EP is already here courtesy of Dana Ruh and her Kickboxing set. Though she contributed a remix to Vahagn's Relapse, Kickboxing is the first formal release on Buzzin' Fly from a producer whose work has already appeared on Ostgut Ton, Barraca Music, and her own Brouqade label. If anything, the release might be seen as more mini-album than EP, with four tracks weighing in at a generous thirty-five minutes.

The EP's title track is clearly the release's go-to cut or at least the one that most powerfully showcases her music's many sides. It's a veritable nine-minute parade of soulful vocal musings and rolling grooves that Ruh belts out with ample doses of energy and conviction. After the track's storming pulse is locked in place, she serves up claps, percussive touches, drop-outs, and a late-night refrain (“Don't get so uptight”) that collectively bolster the track's deep underground kick and hypnotic potency. Like the title track, “What I'm Telling You” spends its first minutes laying a rock-solid foundation before sprinkling its shotgun claps and percolating percussion with flavourful vocal accents, though so subtly the effect verges on subliminal. Just as their cut-to-the-chase titles suggest, “This” and “That” reflect the EP's more minimal leanings in their stripped-down, unfussy approach. The former trots out a mechanoid house groove whose squiggly strut is constantly dogged by rising surges of acid, while the latter, egged on by a motif rather reminiscent of the one powering Samim's “Heater,” digs into its scalpel-sharp, bass-throbbing pulse with serious, unwavering purpose. Think of Ruh's release as more quality material from Ben Watt's ever-reliable Buzzin' Fly imprint.

September 2011