Six months into 2016, there’s already been a magnificent bounty of fresh tunes to sift through, fall in love with and thoroughly overplay. Here we run down our favourite EPs of the year so far.
Click the EP title to read our full review.
Since he inaugurated Lobster Theremin with 2013’s Equation EP, Jay Donaldson has released one record every twelve months, and each has ended up as one of the year’s finest club releases. This one stands out for the poppy pleasure of its harmonies and the inventive sprawl of its references, from italo to Chicago house via silky electro.
Pizza Night offered a V/A selection of disco edits for their first release, a stellar selection of soul-soaked burners pressed in deep, satisfying grooves. It was all the more impressive considering that few of these artists have released more than a handful of records before. The funk is strong in this one.
Don’t DJ’s latest for his new label SEXES is ripe with cultural critique, but that doesn’t mean it’s not packing musical heat. The four cuts are psychedelic trips into the world of Indonesian gamelan music that would provide a tropical hypnosis to break up any set.
- Powder – Afrorgan
This young Japanese artist has been promising from the start, but her latest EP stepped up the game. Three distinctive cuts take in busily syncopated house, blissed-out drift and a tense punk excursion, each pulled off with the maturity and precision of a far more practiced producer.
- Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy – Darraje
For this unusual collab, Munich trio Carl Gari travelled to Cairo to work with Sufi chanter Abdullah Miniawy. The results are heady, exploring menacing undercurrents of mysticism across four dark and devotional cuts.
- Mr. Fingers – Outer Acid
There was some trepidation around the return of one of house music’s greatest producers. We shouldn’t have doubted. Larry Heard’s latest EP, like much of his best music, sits outside of time. These galactic transmissions have all the subtlety, feeling and groove of his best work. The music finds its home in the complex landscape of longing and doubt, and the sumptuous details ought to ensure longevity.
One of modern funk’s most intriguing voices returned for a cassette that goes for the melodic jugular, its tracks impossibly chilled but packed with groove. Here Benedek capitalizes on his early strengths and steps out into exciting new territory, particularly on New Age funk odyssey Angelus Vista.
- Jayda G – Jaydaisms
The newest addition to Vancouver’s unfailing house scene came correct on her debut EP, where the influences of disco, soul and boogie drift beneath the surface of four dreamy house jams. Check particularly the mesmerizing strains of Rishikesh and the innovative take on the piano house mould IGA.
Two of the dance scene’s most unique voices combine for a joint career best on Finnish label Keys of Life. Both tracks are a total triumph – lovingly plied with detail, effortlessly eliciting complex emotions – they evoke the trance-inducing power of refined repetition.
JR Seaton, known to most as Call Super, improbably continues to improve on every single release. His latest for Trilogy Tapes is a profoundly atmospheric excursion into natural landscapes, from mutant swamps to alpine fields, crafting a dance music of rare tactility.
2016 Halftime Roundups: