VA: FFM Vol. 2 EP
Smile For A While

It's not uncommon for an EP to feature a strong track or two but be dragged down by others of lesser quality. The FFM Vol. 2 EP is that rare case where all four of its pieces are equally memorable, something perhaps explainable by the fact that its contributions come from four producers (Frankfurt-based producers specifically)—Oliver Achatz, Honeo, Eddoh, and Martin Heimann—rather than one only.

A splendid tone-setter, Achatz's “Machine Love” rolls out a sultry groove and takes on a soulful edge via the vocal contributions of a male singer. Factor into the equation funky percussive swing and a beefy synth presence and the result is a seductive and hard-grooving slice of late-night house music that fires on all cylinders. Somewhat slinkier by comparison, Honeo's “HouKlaSam” oozes as much polish and craft as Achatz's though digs into its deep house swing with a tad more ferocity. Imagine a wordless vocal exhaling across a club groove's syncopated snap and you'll have some idea of the tune's character. Apparently Honeo's been producing tracks since 1968, and the music on display here exudes a confidence and effortlessness one might expect from a producer with so many years under his belt.

On the B side, Eddoh infuses his late-night banger “For What Will Come” with a dash of melancholy, so much so that a tug of war seems to be going on between the emotional fallout of dashed romantic hopes on the one hand and the track's otherwise wide-screen arrangement and exuberant flow on the other. At EP's end, Newmen member Heimann smoothes over Eddoh's rough patches with “Viol,” an even-keeled cut whose rich, synth-heavy atmospheric design likens the track as much to a soundscape as club cut. It's quality stuff from start to finish, and its twenty-eight minutes may very well leave you, as per the label name, smiling for a while.

March 2014