Although Candian club night-cum-label Normals Welcome has been releasing music since 2005, it’s only in the last couple of years that it’s turned to dance EPs, and so far they’re doing it with style. The imprint’s latest is a split EP between two producers geographically distant but sonically intimate, Normals Welcome resident Khotin and rising Australian producer Dan White.
The two producers are indeed excellent bedmates, dealing in forms of subdued, machine-fed house soaked in melancholy. Both issued debut mission statements in the past year, Khotin for Normals Welcome and White on an ace EP for fellow Canadians Forbidden Planet, and here they both sound as evocative as ever.
Dan White’s tracks are more melody-driven, with a fluid feel to his music as if the synths are rising through water. Grey Bishop’s spare rhythm clicks along at a fine pace, but it’s the aqueous synths and melancholy wash that prove most striking. No No No is grounded in a series of echoing chimes, flecked with the restrained acid lines that find their way into most of his music.
Khotin’s tunes are more rooted and club-focused but don’t skimp on the melody, starting with the superb Sorry Sequence. Here searing acid and a revolving synth motif is welded to a tough kick, taking off into striking harmony in its second half. AT07 is a subtler beast, as an uncertain synth note pushes reluctantly forward under bubbling 303 meditations. Both artists adeptly conjure a sound both propulsive and moving, ushering Normals Welcome assuredly towards a bright future.