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San Proper – Animal (Ricardo Villalobos remixes) review

Long before he emerged as a producer, San Proper has been regarded as royalty amongst his fellow Amsterdam dwellers and it’s significant that this idiosyncratic figure has had notable releases across the city’s many imprints since he debuted on Rush Hour with the Proper’s A’dam Family Series back in 2007.

Those who took the opportunity to bask in his early contribution to our podcast series will recognise San Proper to be quite the unique character – a feeling that was further enhanced when this writer met him during a visit to Red Light Radio last Autumn – and the sense that 2012 is a year where he gets the wider recognition he deserves is only strengthened by the intrigue of his debut album, forthcoming naturally on Rush Hour.

Whilst the stylistic focus of Animal remains a mystery – one can only hope some of the new wave, disco punk San Proper does with Tom Trago as Dirt Machine has been incorporated – a fascinating prelude is offered on this twelve inch from Rush Hour that pitches the highly lauded talents of a certain Ricardo Villalobos against the title track. It should be said that the mere fact of the perma sweating Chilean appearing on Rush Hour is compelling evidence of the Spuistraat operation’s swelling status amongst the worldwide techno cognoscenti (recent tweaks from Craig and Parrish being further examples) yet this element is overwhelmed by how engaging the music is.

The two tracks here are allegedly the results of three days of San and Ricardo locked in the latter’s Berlin studio, and at 14 minutes and then some, “Animal in Dub” is as sparse and tripped out as you’d expect from Villalobos. Furthermore, it sounds as if the Chilean was fully inspired by his intrepid studio partner, expertly weaving a twisted treatment of San Proper’s grunting tones around a cascading groove that descends ad infinitum. This mind-bending exercise is complemented by a shorter, floor friendly “Animal In Club” version which in truth retains just as much fully dosed up capacity to coax you into digging your own personal wormhole as the longer A Side. An inspired twelve inch pairing!

Tony Poland


1. Animal In Dub (Ricardo Villalobos remix)
2. Animal In Club (Ricardo Villalobos remix)