If you go to electronic music shows in Vancouver, chances are you'll have at least heard of Calamalka, one of the city's best-kept secrets in the form of a bass-wise hip-hop/g-funk synth wizard with one hell of a live set. Part of the "secrecy" is by design: he hasn't had a proper release in seven years. Vancouver music magnate Max Ulis' new label 10Pin wisely chooses Calamalka for its first release, and Gooey shows why Michael Campitelli has such a renowned reputation in the city.
"Gooey" oscillates on a viscous and sludgy groove, handclaps lining up with the kick drum so every heavily-swung boom feels like a thunderclap. It's druggy hip-hop rendered even more sluggish with a remix from fellow Canadian XI, whose version actually ups the tempo while somehow making the record sound as if it were playing at 16 RPM. The result is like his earlier garage work on downers, that delayed-thunderclap effect turned into a frighteningly disorienting gauntlet as pitched-down synths shoot out like steam bursting through pipes.
With its skronky shuffle and clattering percussion, "Ain't No Need" bears resemblance to fellow BCer Monolithium's dubstep-infused hip-hop on last year's Simon & G-Funk EP, but the EP's best track actually steers away from all that top-heavy hip-hop swagger. "Dominoes" spends its first minute wading through pools of reverb with sun-kissed guitars and welcoming strings, before plummeting into slow-motion dub techno. It showcases what really sets Calamalka apart: an effortless knack for space you won't find in many other instrumental hip-hop producers.
Buy Calamalka - Gooey at
Tracklist: Calamalka - Gooey 1. Ain't No Need
4. Gooey (XI RMX)
5. Gooey VIP