- Russia's electronic music scene seems intriguingly (and unevenly) split between all-conquering trance titans, and a more fervently niche and underground group probably known more outside the country than it is within its own vast borders. Joining that ever expanding latter camp is Arma, a new label run by the people behind Moscow's lauded Arma17 club. Following on from an inaugural release that featured, amongst others, Russia's deepest techno poster boy Anton Zap, this split EP introduces more native (and equally connoisseur) talent in the form of Alex Danilov, DJ Djungl and Venedikt Reyf & Paul Eidner.
It's Danilov who takes the A-side with two delightfully deep house cuts that calls to mind the most unassuming and romantic fare of Hamburg's Smallville. "Deep S" is all cloudy and cuddly, with humid pads obscuring the splattered claps and cowbells that give it its propulsion. "Down S," meanwhile, pulls its kicks much further apart and invites you to wallow in the swirling, melody-infused pools that linger as a result. On the flip, Djungl's "Rakatakata" simultaneously rides along on a lowdown, grubby bassline and more soaring, celestial key patterns to pleasing effect before the tantalizingly slow house crawl of "Sexspionage" serves as a bed on which trumpets, jazzy chords and female raps bounce up and down for just over seven minutes. All in all, house music as warm and inviting as Russia can be cold and hostile.
A1 Alex Danilov - Deep S
A2 Alex Danilov - Down S
B1 Djungl - Rakatakata
B2 Venedikt Reyf & Paul Eidner feat. Thomas Gaertner & L Cooper - Sexspionage