There is a lot of ground covered in Bostonian John Barera's beautifully ballsy first EP for Ortloff Records. Not only literally (the sonic scenery seems to race by at a quicker and bumpier lick than most contemporary stuff) but stylistically, too: there are references to everything from psych to acid. Sometimes they feel like techno, sometimes house, sometimes a grey area in between, but they always deal in that revered quality of timelessness.
Despite the firm and regimented kicks—these will do damage on a dance floor—there's an expansiveness in the soaring synths, pinging cowbells, horns and whatever else that keeps things human, mysterious and even cerebral. Your mind wanders on tracks like "Music Industry" as deep space ambiance osmoses through dusty drum work, while the constantly shapeshifting "Next Time" is a dense and gauzy network of warbling 303s and clipped 808s that manages to sound simultaneously serious yet serene.
You might initially think the reverbing rubber pings of "Sound Love" could be the start of a more stripped back offering. But the spaces soon get coloured in, this time with an echoing female coo and smeared celestial pads. That rawness fully boils over on closer "Mile End"—the most warehouse-y of the lot—but still a fuzzy warmth remains.
Buy John Barera - Mile End at
Tracklist: John Barera - Mile End A1 Next Time
A2 Music Industry
B1 Sound Love
B2 Mile End