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White Noise: Mosca – Wavey EP

Monday, 14 November 2011

Mosca – Wavey EP


Orange Jack

Wray & Neph

As a producer, London-based Mosca has always valued the groove above all else. Whereas other artists occasionally go off and produce ‘interesting’ or ‘experimental tracks, Mosca’s releases are always aimed squarely at the dancefloor. That is not at all to say that Mosca’s tracks aren’t interesting, but I feel it underlines a confusion that may come about from this, his most recent release. His biggest and brightest release of the year, the monstrous two-headed beast Done Me Wrong / Bax was a set of two brilliant, finely nuanced tracks that could be listened to at home, but were clearly purpose-built for mixing. His more recent (and free) 5000 Followers EP showed a pair of two super-slow and intensely groovy tunes but was still clearly crafted with the same goal. So when Mosca released the Wavey EP on Martyn’s oh-so-hot 3024 label, I just didn’t understand comments like ‘boring’ or ‘this doesn’t go anywhere’ – these are dance tracks, made for mixing, and while they don’t break any moulds the tracks here are fantastically solid club tunes,  and to that effect Mosca has achieved his goal in spectacular fashion.

This collection references techno more heavily than any of Mosca’s recent productions, eschewing big drops for tight layering and slow, throbbing builds. The short collection of four songs also shows that Mosca really has his finger on the pulse of today’s dance scene; everything is slowing down, and a lot of producers are getting more tech-y at the moment (see the latest releases of SCB, Pariah, Karenn). That said, these are by no means standard techno tunes, and the 4/4 beats belie some of the most swung and groovy compositions that Mosca has released to date. Furthermore, to say these are tech-y doesn't imply that they are fuzzy like the tracks linked above; on the contrary the production quality here is outstanding, with unbelievably clear highs and lows throughout. He kicks off the alcohol-themed selection of tracks with Dom Perignon, which takes no time to settle into a light thumper with warm bass stabs. The core of the tune changes little throughout its course, but the base elements are strong enough to make this a great dancefloor track. Added to this, Mosca heaps on the details with a great recurring vocal sample rendered down to a percussive snatch, as well as mechanical hisses and rips of static that keep the layers interesting. It’s a tight and concise tune that does exactly what it should do, and there’s no faulting that.

Second cut Orange Jack is a much darker affair, and all the better for it. A dusty 4/4 lays the foundations for vibrant synths that penetrate the dusky atmosphere, created with textured percussion, a great vocal loop and the occasional interruption of what sounds like the door in a prison being opened. It’s another really strong track, and would fit perfectly in a dark, eyes-down mix.  Jager plumbs these dark sounds even more deeply, with Mosca replacing the brighter synth stabs of the first two tracks with a sawing percussive noise that dominates the tune to exquisite the effect. The aggressive vocal breakdowns work better than the Wu-Tang sampling close of The Way We Were, and although there isn’t a great deal of forward motion on display here, this is perhaps the best dance cut of the lot and is another display of just how tight and concentrated Mosca’s great production can be.

That’ll be it if you buy the EP physically, but there’s a very welcome surprise in the digi-EP in the form of exclusive closer Wray & Neph which does things a little differently. This cut is more in tune with today’s bass scene than anything else, and could almost fit in as a B-side to this year’s Done Me Wrong release. A building synth line introduces the tune with great momentum, and when the perfect snares start to mingle with a dubstep-referencing bass wobble this track is really a joy to behold. Mosca keeps the pace up with perfectly-pitched miniature breakdowns, building up in seconds only for the core track to pound back into place. It’s a great touch and when the intro’s rising synths recur it wouldn’t be far-fetched to call this the standout tune of the EP.

This release doesn’t break any boundaries, but as far as I can see that’s never really what Mosca’s been about. This is a selection of unbelievably tight and controlled tunes from a producer at the very top of his game, and a must-have in every DJs collection.


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