On this, the latest in the so far storming output of Keep Up! Records the clue is in the name, with the boys from Lopez taking the sound of last year’s Zapping EP, toning down the Disco, and walloping the big button marked ‘Synth Overdrive’.
The opening tabla samples and squelchy heavy chug of the opening track Frutika sets the tone for what you can expect on this five track EP, whilst the next track actually manages to go deeper, with the belching bassline under cut up cello lines of Wo almost hitting dubstep territory.
Next up, JP3 starts with a tweaking bounce, before it brightens with a swirling high line and filtered horns, before my pick of the bunch, Kiera, switches it up the tempo a notch with the breathy female vocal snippets, scratches and hand claps having something of the FlyLo about them. Finally Kongo Beats finishes you in a wall of metallic synth pulses with silky stings and snare-esque clicks sliding over the top.
The absence of all but the most minimal of vocal lines leaves you free to revel in the finely wrought structure of the beats, and appreciate the depth and layering of the synth programming. As the press blurb accompanying this release “the EP showcases Lopez’s misspent youth in the Asuncion, and misspent adulthood in the studios of South London”, and I can truly believe that these tunes are a labour of love, being both well crafted, but not unapproachable in the way that some instrumental EPs can be.
Lopez / Analogue Excursions Vol. 1 is available digitally from March/April 2011 , with a best of combined with tracks from the forthcoming Volume 2 available on vinyl from those nice chaps at Keep Up!.