The Moscow club ARMA17 is not only at the forefront of Russia’s burgeoning dance music scene but a fixture of Moscow’s nightlife. When the club first opened in 2008, the concept was to bring renowned international artists into Russia while simultaneously showcasing Moscow’s thriving underground dance music scene. Similarly, the clubs label arm ARMA (created at the end of last year) has this duality at its heart; to support talent from all across the world while promoting the clubs unique atmosphere, ambience and sound. Now on their third release, ARMA03 calls on the talents of Romanian Techno hero and [a:rpia:r] heavyweight artist, Rhadoo, to offer a remix on an EP otherwise entirely given over to Russian up and comer Andrey Zots.
The EP is a departure stylistically from the previous two releases which followed a particular deep house line-all warm pads and jazzy chords. Instead, we are treated to the intricate sound design and audio effects more commonly associated with Microhouse. Across the release, the subtle interplay between the audio elements, such as the stuttered piano sample on the groove oriented A side Ty El is woven masterfully into the rumbling low end percussive fabric of the track so as to drive it, rather than break it up and detract from the momentum. Inside Out is a more sombre affair with demonic pitched-down vocal samples, a steady beat offset by atonal keyboard sounds and whirs creating an edgy claustrophobic slice of dance music. Rhadoo brings his gift as a producer to reworking Ty El from a groove centric rolling number to a taut stripped down affair, dissecting the smooth piano sample into short snippets diffused throughout the track effectively removing it from the foreground. This is then juxtaposed with nonsensical vocal samples, calling to mind some of Perlon’s output, creating a fascinating listening experience without ever straying too far from the framework of dance music.
It’s a testament to Zots‘s & Rhadoo’s ability as producers to keep the tracks propulsion and energy going without getting too weighed down by experimentalism, abstraction or inertia, that can be found far too often in tracks filed under ‘Minimal’ or ‘Microhouse’.
This is a highly commendable and promising third release from ARMA and looking back over Andrey Zots brief discography, this is one of his standout pieces of music. With tracks like these to his name you can be sure that the only way for this man is onwards and upwards.
A1 – Andrey Zots – Ty El
A2 – Andrey Zots – Inside Out
B1 – Andrey Zots – Ty El (Rhadoo Remix)
Digital Only – Andrey Zots – Inside Out (Why Not Cut)
Format: Vinyl + Mp3 File
Released: Sept 2012