Efdemin's 2008 mix, Carry On, Pretend We're Not in the Room proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the man knows muscular house music—not the sort of sorrow-driven mellowness you'd find on his regular home, Dial. And, in listening to the first record on his Naif label, you get the sense that Phillip Sollmann has finally found an outlet for the more physical side of his own sound.
Teaming up with rising Russian producer Nina Kraviz, Sollmann's "Sun" is a beatdown-inspired burner that also takes a cue or two from Afro house in its judicious use of tribal percussion. Plenty of the typical "ooh"ing is on offer, but it's the sort of DJ tool that's inspiring rather than deadening—even if the bass seems to overpower the track at times. Kraviz's "Hotter Than July" is a bit more airy, giving plenty of room for an incessant voice to chant "house music." It'd be irritating if it wasn't backed by the sort of drum loop that unconsciously makes you want to move your arm around in circles to mimic its forward movement. (Maybe that's just me, though.) Given more space to breathe, it just barely outshines Efdemin's contribution to this solid debut 12-inch for Naif.
Tracklist: Nina Kraviz / Efdemin - Hotter Than July / SunA Nina Kraviz - Hotter Than July
B Efdemin - Sun