Opening track March slowly enters on lush bass pads, a taut tech-house kickdrum and clicking snares locking in around a background of ambient chords and cut up fragments of human voice, before suddenly fading away in a wash of bleeps. Funeste injects some interesting almost tribal-house influenced percussive sounds over a distant buzzing synth bassline that almost calls to mind a far more blurred-out subliminal version of one of Basement Jaxx’s hooligan anthems, before Ketouak kicks in with a tight punchy kickdrum and machine-like bleeps and whirs, some minimal synth chords moving around in the background offsetting the crisp foreground beats nicely and adding a somewhat hypnotic quality overall. Finally, Neige closes this EP with an interesting almost breakstep shuffle to its crisp tech-house rhythms, swooshing sounds flying through a dense mesh of mechanical snares and what almost sounds like a chamber being loaded.
The ‘Frosted Tea’ EP offers a nice introduction to Tarik Alj’s minimal tech-house productions, and from the evidence contained within it’s obvious that this emerging Canadian producer has struck a nice balance between lush yet minimal chord textures and more hard tech-house rhythms, lending a nice filmic quality to many of these tracks. My only criticism would be perhaps that on a couple of these tracks (‘Funeste’ and ‘Neige’) the extended beatless breakdowns in the middle bottom things out a bit too much and halt the rhythm mid-sentence. Apart from these minor points though, this is a well-produced and intriguing debut EP that is sure to appeal to fans of minimal tech-house in the vein of Luomo and Force Tracks.