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Recloose – Saturday Night Manifesto review

Over the past three years New Zealand based Recloose (aka Matthew Chicoine) has lived up to his moniker somewhat, with no new material coming from the producer since 2008. His productions have always flirted mainly around house and disco, as well as the warmer strands of hip-hop and techno, and this EP is no different, but there’s an ambition present which exceeds a lot of his previous material, bringing his style into line with Rush Hour’s younger artists whilst retaining his classic warmth.

Opener “Electric Sunshine” is a bright piece of mid-tempo disco, combining buttery analogue bass with patiently swelling synths. But it’s the halfway point that blows everything open, as snatches of sampled vocals, strings and horns suddenly play off against each other. The mood is one of chaos and soulful serenity all at once; it’s initially jarring, but these are the moments in the EP’s tracks that you find yourself anticipating on repeated listens. “Parquet”, for instance, begins with a clattering Todd Edwards style rhythm, and combines it with staccato vocal samples which create a similarly ecstatic yet confused mood. Rather than playing the samples out in linear fashion, as in the past, Chicoine’s cutting them up and rearranging them in a more contemporary manner in a way that doesn’t feel like a mere gimmick; on the contrary, it’s irresistible to listen to, much like the schizoid confusion of Cosmin TRG’s “See Other People”. But it’s the B-Side “Tecumseh” that really surprises, with a growling techno bassline and heavenly vocal sample that suddenly morph into a beautifully warm house track.

These tracks show Chicoine’s great mastery of structure; the tracks undulate slowly, subtly changing moods as they travel, unfurling from within to reveal hidden layers, whilst utilizing negative space, adding breathing room and further rhythmic complexity to his productions. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that there’s no end of young house upstarts. But in Saturday Night Manifesto Recloose has returned to lay out his intentions and given us an EP that is as future leaning and intricate as any of these contenders. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave it another three years.

Scott Wilson