Freedom 2K Freedom 2K

EPs

LA Vampires by Octo Octa LA Vampires by Octo OctaFreedom 2K

7.6 / 10

With Pocahaunted, her psychedelic project between drones and tribal funk, definitively over; Amanda Brown is taking on her adventure LA Vampires as a collaborative effort from now on. She doesn't want to be alone and always wants to share the studio with talented friends who help her express herself in different ways with each record, as our heroine explained in the interview for her PlayGround Mix 081. After a record with the pre- “Stridulum” Zola Jesus (guttural and noisy), and another, new-wave and mutant disco one with the slippery Ital, LA Vampires is changing register and partner once again on this Octo Octa produced EP, almost a mini album, as a respectful tribute to classic deep-house. Which shouldn't be all too surprising, either: while previous LA Vampires efforts were made according to the norms of Not Not Fun (a certain noisy lo-fi sound), “Freedom 2K” is the confirmation that Amanda Brown is very much focusing on dance music, and on 100% Silk, the coolest house label of the moment.

“Freedom 2K” holds five tracks of synthetic beats with a distinctive 90s flavour and lyrics by an Amanda Brown in her most hedonist form, with that touch of naivety (words like ‘ecstasy’, and ‘unity’) you find with most artists who recently discovered the pleasures of dance music (something rather common in America these days, where it seems that every new generation discovers, with delay, the sounds they themselves exported to Europe, and which, over here, have been part of the panorama for more than a decade). Octo Octa made it sound as sparkling as he could (in the vein of his “Rough, Rugged, And Raw” tape), and the record sounds British rather than European at times: “His Love” is constructed like the tracks of those band who would cross indie-pop with dance in the early 90s (Fluke, The Shamen, even Orbital), and “Wherever, Boy” is equally irresistible, with those precise stabs and simulated piano arpeggios, in the finest 1990-1991 rave tradition: London Records rather than Trax.

“Found You” even has that Balearic touch (resorting to the obsolete vocabulary of a few years ago) - with its soft cadence, its breeze of synths and pianos - which covers the final part of the record. “Unity” is slower than the first two cuts, and “Freedom 2K” (the track) is somewhere between a danceable outburst and rhythmic contention, although it never loses that mystifying aura and that complete devotion to house-pop in its purest form. The final track is a remix by Malvoreaux, one of the newbies on 100% Silk. He eliminates the voice on “Freedom 2K”, accelerates the beat and stretches the track to seven minutes, but without rejecting the general tone: that soft cyberdelia, similar to the early releases by Deep Dish. It is close to the first British house bands who helped popularise the delights of rave, far removed from the frantic hardcore rhythms. All in all, an escape to the past to enjoy the pleasure, security, and ingenuity which the present - with its uncertainty and unbearable negative vibe - no longer allows for.

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