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8 / 10

Roska  Error Code HOTFLUSH RECORDINGS (HF028, 12” + digital)

These days, it’s hard to imagine new music by Roska without the presence of a syncopated rhythm dominating the whole track. While it’s true that a part of his production, especially the music included on his album “Rinse presents Roska” (2010), can’t be seen separate from the long tradition of vocal house, it’s the up-tempo funky beat that is this Spurs fan’s trademark sound. In fact, if funky house has grown as a style, it’s partly thanks to him giving the sound an exploring character, which he’s been advancing and progressing over the years, and finding new focuses. He is a key figure on the scene, more so than Lil Silva and other unquestionable talents. But Roska doesn’t seem to be willing to stay on one piece of ground, and this 12” is a clear example of his need and eagerness to move. Not only because it’s released by Hotflush, a label that, at first sight, doesn’t fit his sound –though he already did give them an unreleased track before, and a remix–, but because Hotflush lets him experiment in new directions.

Without losing the break beat and his trademark tribal sound, Roska dresses up “Error Code” and “Abrupt” with some familiar features –the voice that pops up shouting “Roska!”– and other more surprising elements, like the constantly bubbling synthesisers. Although the second track is called “Abrupt” –more low frequency oscillations here– the whole EP is dominated by an ambient miasma the balances the nudity of the breaks and gives the two songs a floating quality. And all that while still sounding like Roska, a man who, voluntarily or instinctively, opens up new possibilities for funky with every new release. We’ll see which direction he’ll take on his next delivery; to be released on his own label, it will definitely be surprising.

Richard Ellmann

“Error Code”

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