It's almost like clockwork; once a year Mobilee releases an EP helmed solely by Sebo K. 2005: Too Hot, 2006: Horizons, 2007: Far Out, 2008: Diva, 2009: Spirits. There have been a few collaborations, a single for another label, a mix here and there, but Sebo always seems to come home. And, despite the changing tides of electronic music over the past four years, the sound of these singles has remained remarkably consistent—tech house with a healthy emphasis on the latter of those two words. (Sebo is the self-described housiest DJ/producer on Mobilee, a fact illustrated best on his two mix CDs.)
"Spirits," his newest single for Mobilee, is similarly bouncy and has a similar absence of "garish melodies" as 2008's "Diva." But, like its predecessor—which sounds better in retrospect—there's not much to grab onto here. Unlike the exclusive dOP tracks commissioned for Watergate 04 or even the original tracks that he didn't need to transform at all, there's little distinguishing "Spirits" aside from the quality of its production. The piano riff is remarkably traditional, the string stabs that accompany it expected and the drum pattern unwilling to do much except push things irrevocably forward. In other words, it sounds remarkably safe—the work of someone who knows a lot, knows how to put it into practice in the studio, but is either unwilling or unable to make this production anything less than functional. To those ends, it's mighty useful. But the track's theme seems to want more, positioning itself as a potential anthem. To my ears, though, it's less an anthem and closer to its title—the ghost of a great track past. A reason to put your hands up halfway in the air, but nothing more.
On the flip, Barcelona percussionist Max Moya joins Sebo for the drum version of "Spirits," adding a life to the track that was absent from the original. Moya's contributions are quite clean, in line with Sebo's production aesthetic, garnishing phrases with flourishes of fusion instruments. Its aims tempered, it does what it sets out to do with aplomb, giving energy to everything on the bottom-end while Sebo adds forest noises to the mix. They seem like a needless addition, but it's not enough to underscore the fact that the Moya version seems like the pick from this otherwise underwhelming effort from both Sebo and Mobilee.
Buy Sebo K - Spirits at
Tracklist: Sebo K - Spirits A Spirits
B Spirits Drum Version feat. Max Moya
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