Available on: Planet Mu 12″
OK, so the way people have been using the word “tropical” in UK dance music circles over the last year is pretty weak. Once a default genre name on myspace, it’s become a buzzword for house music with syncopated drums, polyrhythm or just general summer vibes – think tunes by Doc Daneeka, Hackman, Julio Bashmore and other people who probably find the tropical name equally silly themselves. But I digress.
Oriol is another alumni of London’s CD-R club night (where Floating Points semi-famously cut his teeth), born in Barcelona but based in Cambridge. ‘Coconut Coast’ is the only original Oriol production on this single, and it’s well, very tropical, but in an aesthetic sense rather than a generic, drum-related one. Percussion is really scattered here, giving a nice, lazy feel to the track’s foundation, while sunset-pink synths rise and fall in the background. Funk and boogie influences are flattened into the track’s grooves, giving the track kinship with Onra’s recent Long Distance album, and yes, to some extent Hud Mo and Dam-Funk.
New Yorker FaltyDL takes on the first of this EP’s remixes, squashing ‘Coconut Coast’ further into a rocky groove that betrays Falty’s hip-hop influences before it does his love of garage. The synths are stretched and accentuated, fizzing harder than before.
Planet Mu boss Mike ‘uZiq’ Paradinas dusts off his rarely used Jake Slazenger guise for a remix of Oriol track ‘Memories’, full of starlit arpeggios, hand claps and rapturous vocals, while Shortstuff rounds off the 12” with bleep-heavy, broken 2step that’s somewhere between past singles ‘A Rustling’ and ‘Relapse, just tailored for summer and with those vocals taken to higher states of ecstasy.