Rich house music with a Brazilian flavour.
A few years ago, Zopelar started jamming with then 15-year old Benjamin Sallum, now a resident at São Paulo's Mamba Negra parties. They banged out improvised live sets, naming themselves after the humorously literal YouTube video "My girlfriend is programming the Roland TR-909, making a House beat." The duo eventually caught the ear of Apron's Steven Julien, who went to Brazil to DJ at the party Zopelar co-founded, ODD.
It's easy to see what Julien sees in My Girlfriend. The ambient opener, "Piercing," bears a striking similarity to the ambient interludes off Julien's 2016 album, Fallen. Other tracks, like "Gidi" and "Modal," fit perfectly alongside the warm, soulful, boogie-funk-inflected styles of Julien, Kyle Hall, Byron The Aquarius and especially Hanna. "Believe In Something"'s mix of acrobatic bass lines and dreamy pads owe plenty to the cult Ohio producer.
But My Girlfriend's most distinctive tracks are steeped in Brazil's rich musical legacy. "Corner Club" (and the brief outro, "Fingers") attempt to translate Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges' legendary Clube Da Esquina sound to modern nightclubs. This influence mainly comes through in the complex interplay between piano and bass and the track's live percussion, which make "Corner Club" feel like a Brazilian broken-beat track. Apron EP's novel mix of lush chords, jazz chops and Brazilian rhythms make it one of the year's most interesting house records.