Jayda G and DJ Fett Burger have put out nothing but fire on their Freakout Cult label since it launched last year, and this latest release is no exception. The Cult’s second release of 2017 comes from SJ Tequilla, a Japanese-born, Berlin-based producer who is a member of the extended Sex Tags family – at least, he’s already contributed two esoteric mixtapes to the legendary Trushmix series.
For his debut Tequilla leans into a subdued house sound primed for headphone listening, playing with the contrast between dry rhythms and rich, evocative melodies. Conditionel 01 demonstrates the exquisite craft of each track, its aching pads stretched over brittle drums that seem to imply a 4/4 kick without ever focusing on the thump. A faded synth motif streaks lazily over the track’s second half, lending the slow cut a gentle optimism.
Conditionel 02 moves at a more sprightly clip, evoking vintage videogames with a glitchy melody that buoys the clattering drumwork. Fett Burger (under his DJ Dog alias) and Jayda G supply a False Indigo Mix which brings the drums up front, its meandering synthwork setting a lazy pace until a big, warbling synth brings in a touch of drama.
It’s third cut Sweet Salt which is the real winner here, offering beautifully melancholic pads and a cheeky vocal sample of an Aphex Twin prank call from his Caustic Window LP. The composition is nakedly emotional, the beat seeming to drag its feet, like one last look at your childhood home before turning to leave.