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Kuba Sojka – Mysterious Intrigue review

There’s much to love about Jamal Moss and his Mathematics imprint. A man who never aspires to be in the know or the now, Moss has cultivated a sound laced with a gritty, unforgiving DIY feel. It’s a refreshingly experimental approach towards house and techno – fields of music burdened by an abundance of producers satisfied with mere pastiche and paying homage to genre forefathers. His own productions as Hieroglyphic Being often result in the fascinating contradiction of dancefloor music that is simply too lo-fi and raw for dancefloor use. This however forms just one element of the label’s multi-faceted aesthetic, with clean and polished releases fitting snugly alongside the more esoteric excursions.

Mysterious Intrigue by Polish producer Kuba Sojka is one of the more accessible additions to the Mathematics stable, an album that touches on the full spectrum of house music, from smoky jazz infused numbers to piano driven instrumentals, peak time vocal cuts and ample helpings of 303. The centrepiece of glacially paced opener “Stupid Lover” is the sultry Jill Scott style vocal, augmented by crisp kicks and bubbling melodies. Gorgeous instrumentation – piano refrains, guitar licks, soaring strings and a shaker/clap combo – dovetail gently throughout “Here Comes The Sunshine”, rounding off the A-Side.

Title track “Mysterious Intrigue” sways gently with jazzy keys, while on “Magical Trumpeter” we see Sojka going deep for the first time, with the brass offset by moody low frequencies. The second 12″ opens with “Do Not Be Afraid”, a deftly arranged piano house banger replete with smooth vocal stylings, before the fuzzy atmospherics on “Awakening Silesia” give perhaps the only indication of the young producer’s IDM-dabbling alter ego Psi-Acoustic. Rather than trailing off, the final three tracks showcase Sojka’s love of acid: the rasping snares of “Voyager 1” and metallic thump of “Metropolis” serve as ample warning for the unexpectedly epic finale – “I Can’t Stop”  – perhaps the best example of contemporary acid since FunkinEven’s “Heart Pound”.

Aaron Coultate