Subeena: Picture / Spectrums
Opit Records

Following on the heels of twelve-inch releases on Planet Mu and on her own co-run (and now defunct) Immigrant / Imminent Recordings, Subeena (aka Sabina Plamenova, a 24-year-old producer who hails from Italy via Germany and now calls London home) inaugurates her own Opit label with a strong two-tracker. The dazzling opener “Picture” begins with bright neo-harpsichord flourishes and a slow yet pounding pulse before blossoming quickly into a thunderous, echo-laden stomp augmented by burbling bass sequences and iridescent plumes of radiant synthesizer chords. As the tune develops, oscillating back and forth from wide-eyed splendour to introspection, Subeena strips the arrangement down a little to give the bass undertow a few moments in the spotlight, until the sun's light gradually expires when the harpsichord resurfaces during the track's dying seconds. “Spectrums” first spreads its synthetic wings and then plunges into a raving 4/4 stomp that giddily gallops before somersaulting into a serpentine swizzle of quasi-classical melodies and frenetically shuffling beats. Here too Subeena toys with listening expectations by never staying in one place too long and moving between moments of extroversion and introversion. Repeated exposure to the tracks induces a heightened appreciation for just how much detail Subeen packs into her material.

April 2010