Review: Various Artists – Poly V.A. – Polycarp
The second release from Polycarp comes with a great selection of tracks. Four tracks by Simon Ferdinand, Johannes Albert, Tilman and Basch offer a nice variety of different house styles sound wise. The Hamburg based label from Simon Ferdinand keeps up the great work that was displayed on the first vinyl with the superb “Poly V.A.” EP. The tracks are very diverse and reach from classical house with soulful elements to some raw house and techno, as well as slowed down mid tempo goodness. If you’re a house lover you’ll definitely find at least one piece, or even more, that fits your taste.
“Hold On” by Simon himself opens the EP with bouncing kicks and shifted toms. Energetic percussions and a nice pad that sounds like a cracking gameboy fills up the empty spots and generates a nice rhythm with a lot of diversity. Simply sampled and well placed vocal snippets fit perfectly into the grid and bring this track to a nice level. A few chords in between followed by some acid bleeps are the standout part of this track and deliver a lot of tension. Overall “Hold On” is a basic house track, nothing too special, but due to the many sounds that are related to other sub-genres it definitely has that special twist. Johannes Albert’s “Pressing Plywood” follows up and delivers oversteering kicks, sounding like they come straight from the early nineties and were mixed in a trash bin. Cracking! The everlasting string softens the overall sound perfectly and floats on a nice and comfortable pad that evolves a bit every now and then to add some movement. Slightly hearable percussions take on a solid rhythm and leave the spotlight open for some serious cow bells. This really is a gritty and dusty track with power. If raw or lo-fi house is too rough for you, this might be what you are looking for. On the flip side things get started by Tilman’s “It’s A New Day”. A typical Tilman track, nicely delayed pads, a stomping kick, lots of percussions and some heavenly chords. Basic ingredients, but the magic is to turn all of this into something that’s not basic at all and that worked out quite well. Some bouncing toms fill up the gaps and function extremely good together with the dusty and dirty bassline. All the sounds are sounding pretty organic which makes this track a bit more lively. What can we say, it’s just a house track in his purest shape. Basch, who we never heard of so far, closes the “Poly V.A.” with his “Nondres” titled track. Things are slowing down a bit while this records comes to an end. “Nondres” is a beautiful mid or down tempo house track with a nice attitude. Very jazzy, very calming and complex as well. The chords sparkle some positivity and provide a nice contrast to the melancholic synth. It’s all about the atmosphere, the sounds get pitched up and down quite a few times during this track and change the feeling of the track simultaneously. Solid debut from Basch and we are keen to see what he brings to the table the next time. Overall the “Poly V.A.” EP is a neat package of house tracks ranging from slow to fast, from hard to soft while keeping one thing steady: quality!