TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

DJ Red - Underwater
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Producing her own music since 2005 and as resident at Rome’s renowned Goa Club for ten years, Berlin-based Italian producer DJ Red understands well the ingredients necessary to keep dancefloor punters happy. With previous releases on BPitch Control and Unpolite Records, Simona Calvani returns to Electric Deluxe following Duality, her well-received three-tracker from 2014, with Underwater, an EP of polished, minimal Techno.

Things kick off with two original tracks that emphasise the refined basslines and potent minimalism that often characterised her DJ sets. The title track thumps along insistently with subtle textures and mini-drops but its purpose proving primarily functional. Sweet Silence follows suit, embellished with a soaring buzz atop the stripped back beats.

Things are upended on the B-side with both tracks getting the remix treatment. Sweet Silence is transformed into a two-headed monster by the hands of Ukrainian dissenter Stanislav Tolkachev. The first half of the track uses the buzzing aspect to create a shapeless motion that swirls into layers of tense distortion before dropping some thundering drums that see out the remainder of the track—I can see how this would work in the club at peak time. Then we have the unsettling remix of title track Underwater by Zeitgeber (a collaboration between Speedy J and Lucy). With its improvised sound an obvious reference point would be Cobblestone Jazz, several musicians playing in unison. The juxtaposition of the disjointed bassline, the spooky, metallic bleeps and the meandering synthesiser, underpinned by the 4x4 kick drum, shouldn't work but it somehow does.

6/10 after 10 listens

Tracklist

  1. Underwater
  2. Sweet Silence  
  3. Sweet Silence (Stanislav Tolkachev Redux)
  4. Underwater (Zeitgeber Remix)
DJ Red - Underwater

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