Aside from one sojourn on Sudden Drop this year, Dutchman Ivano Tetelpta has released exclusively on assured deep house label Fear of Flying since first appearing in 2011. This release of his (and the imprint's) debut album, then, marks something of a coming of age for both. True Colours is a record that, on paper, shouldn't work, made up as it is of deep and patient grooves. In the mould of similarly minded producers like Rick Wade or Radioslave, though, Tetelepta has an expert knack for elongated house hypnosis.
String-laced synth puddle "Introduction" and deep space comedown "Prologue" aside, each of the eight tracks locks you into an infectious cycle of loose sounding yet locked-in-place drums. It's an undercooked brew, largely, with waify motifs drifting in and out almost independently of what's going on around them, despite the regimented bass. On "113" it's a guitar riff as tiny as it is funky that percolates up through the mix to get you nodding. The charm of "114" on the other hand is the way closed loops of sub-bass and percussion intertwine with each other, their grinding, hypnotic repetition broken only by a distant twinkling of keys.
Because sounds are laid bare and given the freedom to roam, the way each one is designed is vital to True Colours' overall success—there's snap in the drums, jiggle in the percussion, feathery lightness to the snares and plenty of nostalgia in the non-standard sample choices. There's variously a double kick here, a nagging found-sound hook there or a floaty light, Smallville-like melody somewhere off in the distance, all of which help to deftly detail the wide open canvases on which Tetelepta paints.
Rather than building in phrases, with breakdowns, crescendos and a sense of forlorn predictability, the backbone parts of True Colours seem to fully exist from the off. It means there's no real tension or release but instead a melange of different moods slowly drifts by to oh so smooth and soothing effect. The result feels like spending an hour in Tetelepta's company rather than turning up and having him perform for you.
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Tracklist: Ivano Tetelepta - True Colours A1 112
Digital: 115 Alternative
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