Salva: Complex Housing
Friends of Friends

On Complex Housing, San Francsico resident Paul Salva serves up a tasty ten-track meal of irrepressibly burbling synth melodies and buckshot beat science, supplemented with remixes by B Bravo, MachineDrum, My Dry Wet Mess Remix, and Lando Kal. An old-school vibe pervades the material at times in the form of stuttering drum machine beats and the creamy analog synth sound that's front and center in many a song (e.g., the shiny electro-pop of “40 Karats” featuring Zackey Force Funk) but don't think for a second that Salva's sound is tired or retrograde. His funky tracks suggest he's been keeping his ear close to the ground and soaking up fresh sounds spilling out of the US and UK, as hip-hop, house, crunk, Miami Bass, and electro all jostle for position in the album's cuts.

Among the album's memorable moments are “Keys Open Doors,” a funky body-mover spattered with chiming melodies, synth smears, and infectious grooves, and “Issey Miyake,” where traces of B-boy DNA surface in the tune's Kraftwerk theme (circa The Man Machine) and chattering drum machine beats. Salva pays homage to Chicago house with a slightly acidy cover of Robert Owens' “I'll Be Your Friend,” B Bravo brings a jazz-inflected flow to the “Wake Ups” overhaul, and MachineDrum transforms “Keys Open Doors” into a percolating wobbler that oozes sunshine splendour. Time and time again, shimmering synth melodies, bass throb, claps, and hyperactive beats come together in tracks that are as dance floor-ready as they are melodically rich. The dizzying, head-spinning crunch of tracks like “Icey” and “Blue” argues that “Weird Science” could function as ably as a genre label for his music as a song title.

February 2011