8Overall Score

Russia’s Art Crime is one of the most underappreciated producers to emerge on the house scene in the past few years. Through a trilogy of superb EPs on W.T, Phonica and Crème Organization, he’s established a unique fingerprint that just seems to get better with each release.

The Art Crime toolkit leans heavily on classic house sounds, but with each release more influences show their faces, from the menacing snarl of EBM to the grand scifi emotions of electro. His music’s depth of feeling is particularly unusual for a fresh producer. Each track evokes deep emotions that aren’t restricted to an easy category, giving listeners the soaring euphoria of Release or the glazed anxiety of Obsession. His tracks are strictly propulsive but never sacrifice their core emotions to club functionality.

His latest 12″, for rising Dutch label Pinkman, continues to show him exploring new sounds without hitting a bum note. Dead Carnation is a noir showstopper, its elements hung from the relentless throb of a retro-leaning bassline. Over the top Art Crime dabs strings and a vulnerable, witchy piano line, which gives way to an earworm synth coil and frazzled hi hats. The title track is just as successful contrasting light and dark, the delicate piano keys fluttering over a muscular rhythm and speaker-rattling bass hits.

Not a single track here resembles the others. Distant is a dystopic scifi jam, with screeching synths raking a drum pattern set claustrophobically close. Hectic is the most unexpected contribution to the pack, a jittery electro number packed with glittering keys and a constant flurry of jittery hi hats. With an enviable consistency and an admirable desire to explore new sonic territory, Art Crime is one of the most exciting new additions to club scene.