With 'Strumm' we get two tracks by Simko, and two remixes of the title track. 'Strumm' itself is a colourful, bubbly number too in thrall with its own insipid melodic patterns (plonked out on preset keyboard tones) to make any progress. A bassline to match is repeated unwaveringly, there's a bit of the necessary background grit, and the drums are serviceable, but this sounds like late-nineties Cologne minimalism, well-meaning but it seems empty today. The remix by Sweden's Unai is the highlight here, breaking the arpeggios into chunks and punching up the bassline, his version kicks and throbs like prime French house. Simko's original is present as mere echoes, and here the synth patterns gurgle from a decaying music box.
By the time we reach the B-side and Jonas Bering's mix the melodic base of 'Strumm' has become truly cloying, but Kompakt's Gallic standard bearer pulls things back, reducing the tempo to turn out an enjoyable piece of gently-thumping pop ambient. Again, the melody is truncated with Bering emphasising just one chord, strumming it out on a Spanish guitar evoking Klimek meeting Triola. Simko's final offering 'Machine War' is equally reliant on uninspired repeated tone patterns and overbearing sound patches. Opening low-slung and plodding like Berlin dub, things lurch into high gear with gruff electro riffs and bright keys. Brash, unsubtle yet sparse, it sits uncomfortably between minimal and jacking electrohouse without being either.
The accompanying press release stresses Simko's knack for crafting classically-inspired harmonic depth into her work, but little of that is present here. Rather we get melodies hacked from sixties minimalism which, presented raw like this, aren't sufficient to anchor these empty tracks. 'Strumm' itself might satisfy some early-evening electrohouse purveyors but it's the remixes that are worth checking here.