Et tu, Matias? That's how I felt when "Dance Machine" led off Aguayo's new I Don't Smoke EP as, roughly speaking, the 2,392nd house track of the year so far to deliberately evoke Chicago in 1987. But that initial discouragement gave way pretty fast: this is one of the more durable of the new-jackin' lot with it up-front, tireless keyboard bassline and tinny pads that sound the way smoke with lasers going through them look. If you're going to announce yourself after a long absence, adjusting to fashion but getting the accessories right is a decent way to begin.
Aguayo is so into his old drum machines here that he devotes two-thirds of the EP to them and them alone, pretty much. "Niños" takes off from Liasons Dangereuses' 1981 classic "Los Niños del Parque," which is fun for comparison's sake but less so for lay listening. The digital bonuses, "Kuddle Riddim" and "Ligado," are percussion-only exercises included for DJs. But while "Comeme Riddim," a Latin-accented track Aguayo often sings atop live, fits the same basic bill as the others, its bounding 808 and electro-cowbell percussion has a lot of give—it's paced like a song, dynamic as well as propulsive. The EP's clear highlight is the title cut. It's simple—a light-vocaled call-and-response refrain, needling synth lines, tromping rhythm—but when all the elements are there, simple is all you need.
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Tracklist: Matias Aguayo - I Don't Smoke EP A1 I Don't Smoke
B1 Dance Machine
B2 Cómeme Riddim
Digital: Kuddle Riddim