After records from Sangue de Cristo and label founders Photonz, Lisbon's One Eyed Jacks imprint turns to another Portuguese producer, Pal +, who makes a rather astonishingly assured debut. "The Forest" is engrossing from the get-go, with a tough, syncopated chug that sounds like Marcel Dettmann gone reggaeton. That alone would have made a perfectly serviceable drum tool, but Pal + doesn't stop there. Over the top, he layers a great, shimmering arc of a synthesizer melody, with long, sustained notes ringing against softly stabbing chords. If you listen closely, there are even birdcalls deep in the mix, adding subliminally to the track's wide-open sense of space.
The brooding "Inside" is darker and grittier, with cheap-sounding synths staking out a position smack dab between Chicago house and London grime. Again, there's a lurching sense of swing to the groove that seems to be a hallmark of Portugal's bass producers right now. Remixing "The Forest," Berlin's Snuff Crew suck virtually all of the melody on the track, concentrating on a relentless, jacking drum-machine jam—a rigid, staccato rager so airless it feels almost vacuum packed.
Buy Pal+ - The Forest at
Tracklist: Pal+ - The Forest A1 The Forest
B The Forest (Snuff Crew Drum Jam)