We're warned against judging books by their covers, but sometimes a smart exterior frames its contents remarkably well. The thick, auburn daubs on the cover of Kate Simko's new EP are quite a shift from the orderly cool seen on her breakout, She Said, from last year, though both were designed by Michael Cina. The same could be said of the music contained therein.
"Take You There" forgoes the neat control of "She Said" for a comparatively steamy energy. Crowding out any negative space with swirls of warm tones, splashes of color and humid, breathy vocals, this is tech house with an eye to texture. Where the plotted rhythm design of "She Said" struck me as overly rigid, the structure here is much less deliberate, and Simko doesn't sound like she's consciously assembling a groove so much as letting one ride out. The usual talking point about Simko's transition from classical and jazz training to electronic dance music doesn't seem needed here—she sounds very much at ease.
The rest of the EP finds Simko in similarly fine form. The seasick oscillations and vigorous effervescence of "Down Beat" set the stage for a delicate, subdued organ melody that earns the track its title. Benefiting from its introverted melody and tough rhythm, I've already heard a number of people cite this one as their preferred track on the EP. "Margie's Groove," a holdover from a 2008 digital package, works a similar formula, but with a brighter palette, the keys a little more shimmery and the rhythms heavy on hand claps.
A remix from Bruno Pronsato doesn't hurt either, continuing the producer's love affair with live-sounding percussion and tendency to mention break-ups. It's just what you'd expect of a Pronsato remix, mystique gathered around an enigmatic spoken utterance, meticulous attention paid to the detailed networks of percussion (and lots of hand claps) and just enough melody spooled out to build a hypnotic effect. It's no competition for his recently released "The Make Up, The Break Up," a novella of a track by turns grandiose and distant—but that's a story for another day. This remix is a very welcome bonus on an EP that already has plenty to recommend it.
Buy Kate Simko - Take You There at
Tracklist: Kate Simko - Take You There A1 Take You There feat. Brenda D
A2 Down Beat
B1 Take You There feat. Brenda D (Bruno Pronsato's Break-Up Day Remix)
B2 Margie's Groove
Digital Exclusive: Take You There (Instrumental)