8Overall Score

From its eye-catching artwork to its ultra-high quality control, Munich’s Public Possession imprint has quietly become buy-on-sight over its two years of operation. The label has a strong aesthetic, dealing in oddball, balearic-leaning house that plucks its sonic influences from all over the globe. Already blessed with a core stable of great producers including Bell Towers and Tambien, for their first release of 2016 Public Possession look to the thriving Swedish house scene.

Samo DJ has featured on the label before, notably with his scorching edit of a slice of 80’s Eurodisco. His two contributions are the most uptempo on the record, kicking off with the curiously bewitching Triad Board Meeting. Here a burbling synth line takes centre stage, rising gently and lacquered by Oriental strings. He also supplies the super-powered club cut Hollabackboi, a collaboration with China’s Tzusing, who you may remember from a hard-nosed pair of EPs for L.I.E.S. The title is a probable nod to one of Gwen Stefani’s better pop songs, and it combines Tzusing’s powerful drumwork with Samo’s knack for melody in an irresistible throwback to slamming 90’s Euro-house. The only downside is that it’s over too soon.

For the EP’s middle tracks Public Possession have tapped rising star Baba Stiltz, who provides a pair of elegant house cuts that combine quirky foundsound with a lopsided sense of funk. Pacific Times hinges on a belching bassline and a busy field of percussive tics, a sense of longing creeping into its late synth motif. It’s an alluring cut, but Stiltz outdoes himself with gorgeous follow-up Beirut, where a plucked string melody cuts gentle shapes over a laid back rhythm.

Public Possession’s Swedish survey could hardly have yielded better results. They continue to put out house music packed with interesting melodies and textures, nailing the tricky sweet spot between sophistication and fun.