Softwar are Sydney's Myles Du Chateau and Jeremy Lloyd, and the title track of their debut EP has the makings of a summer hit. Like Tensnake, Azari & III or Midnight Magic, they're not shy about their fondness for '90s house: "This Time Around" is all chiming piano chords, blunt-nosed bass and shimmying, freestyle-influenced drum programming. There's a lot of this kind of pastiche around at the moment, but Softwar's take stands out: the lush production is unusually nuanced, and it's hard not to fall for the uplifting vocal.
The instrumental "August," which sounds like it may have originated as a dub of the lead track, is synthier and more diffuse; it feels a little like Metro Area polished to a heady cocaine glow. "Taken Liberty," also an instrumental, brings out the pumping pianos once more; here, the duo shows off its facility for chord changes, wending along an engrossing series of twists and turns. The digital exclusive "Darker" is just that, with a pinging ostinato sparkling against velvety chords, and a spirited, lightly jacking sense of motion that belies its overall restraint.
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Tracklist: Softwar - This Time Around A1 This Time Around
B1 Taken Liberty