Mobilee promise no "garish melodies" in their press materials for "Diva," which leaves me a little cold. Returning to house while leaving the "garish melodies" behind feels like the proverbial having of cake and eating it for the minimalistas, if you'll pardon the clichépart of what motivates great house is the careful weighting of supple groove and melodic rapture. Berlin producer Sebo K's new single is a nice metaphor for what minimal and/or electronica producers often do with/to deep house (at least, from Luomo's Vocalcity on): strip the track to its core and turn the female diva into either a fleeting memory, or a compulsive desiring-machine of tics and gasps. But with "Diva," Sebo K also goes fairly light on the vocal science, dicing female vocals into repetitive stammers, interjections that function texturally, and as punctuation. It's nice as a tease, but you keep waiting for a syntactical revelation that never comes.
"Diva" is all about tease, actually, or at the very least about being sparing with the details. It's propelled by a keenly insistent rhythm, where tambourines and hi-hats keep the treble dancing over an insistent, shuddering arpeggio. Everything's precise and clear, almost workmanlike, which is part of the pleasure, though Sebo K could have drawn more emotional colouration from the diva samples he's used. How you respond will depend on exactly what you're after: whether you feel those "garish melodies" are what make house, or you're simply happy that they're not there to "distract" you from the essentials. The latter's always felt like a cheap shot, thoughhhouse deserves your love because it offers you all you need, the song in interface with the track. "Diva"'s plenty seductive, and its physical compulsion is its real charm. But imagine what Sebo K could have done with those divas.
Buy Sebo K - Diva at
Tracklist: Sebo K - Diva A Diva
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