Among these artists, Regelbau stand out for their level of craft. Their arrangements are often clever and nuanced, their mixdowns crisp. On his debut album, DJ Sports—younger brother of Central, Regelbau's biggest export—demonstrates a particularly good ear. The record's eight tracks conjure vivid and inventive worlds, full of detailed percussion, balmy chords and alluring scintillas of melody. They don't often really go anywhere, and this is part of what makes them ideal for an impending summer. DJ Sports' music is so warm and pleasant that you're happy to bask.
House is, by a small margin, the dominant style. On "Fertile Crescent" it makes for the album's weakspot. Locked into a stale swung groove, DJ Sports' drum programming can't really shine. (The track is only redeemed by the melodies, which dance vaguely like motes of dust.) Things get better on "Parallax," with its moody synth-sax purls, and "Ascension," whose calypso-tinged beat has just the right balance of thrust, lift and drift. DJ Sports lets the track soak in for eight minutes, only stopping for a graceful breakdown.
Things get really interesting, though, when DJ Sports explores other styles. He excels at various shades of zone-out: verdant rainforest ambient on "Stellar Clusters," darker downtempo on "Entry Mode." His take on jungle is even better. It helps that he seems to save his most winsome chord progressions for these tracks: starburst pads define gorgeous opener "World A" and, later, "For Real For You," whose blissy tech-soul mood recalls A Guy Called Gerald's Black Secret Technology. The album winks out with the sleepy "Reluctant Memory." The temptation to loop straight back to the beginning is strong.