This is the third 12-inch from the part-time collaboration between Tom Trago and Awanto 3 (Steven Van Hulle). As most Rush Hour fanatics already know, both belong to the nexus of producers spotlighted on Amsterdam All Stars MMXI, a slyly quirky compilation that has been clogging up my heavy rotation list since last December.
"Hell Of Samba," a fitting title, conjures b-movie images of black-magic exotica and voodoo princesses committing sensual acts of human sacrifice. Bass, kick and brittle percussion lock together and pounce forward all tribal-like. It's not long before buzzing synths (the locusts from Exorcist II?) emerge from the jungle floor. These are then swallowed alive by a she-demon writhing in ecstasy. Needless to say, the track is dramatic and lush, yet never at the expense of the techno-melting-into-house-back-into-techno minimalism through which its myriad components are filtered.
The flipside is of a substantially different flavor, though similar in its unorthodox construction. "Too Shy" is your garden variety party interlude (those throwaway snippets of ambient chitchat, smooth grooves and jazzy keys R&B artists enjoy slipping into their albums) transformed into a pocket symphony that ripples and swells over the course of five-plus splendid minutes. Somehow, the sluggish shuffle finds the will to climb vertically, like Can on a morphine drip. Silky strings and textured flecks of bass and reverb make regular appearances but never stick around for too long. By track's end, a brief burst of broken glass and junkyard wreckage, you realize just how eccentric this nugget really is.
Buy Alfabet - Hell Of Samba at
Tracklist: Alfabet - Hell Of Samba A Hell of Samba
B Too Shy