- If there's one thing that's come to characterise Pittsburgh Track Authority, it's itchy feet. Since their debut in 2011, the American trio have seemed intent on making every 12-inch different from the last, even if they mostly fall under the house banner. Their latest record, Strenf, maintains this pattern, while still ensuring every track is readily recognisable as a PTA creation. On the Archipelago EP, for instance, the trio nailed a sound that was both sunny and boisterous; "The Standard" works at a similar cadence, but packages it into a wilder format, with fluorescent chords and vocal stabs zooming chaotically around the spectrum.
Echoing last year's "Giza," "It's Time" has a bass music streak, with slappy snares and muted Reese bass fighting the chords for centre stage. The sounds themselves are fairly plain, but the arrangement is sheer finesse. Returning to 4/4 beats, "Strenf" and "Missile 1" provide more direct thrills. Sliding snappy synths over a pulsing mid-range, the former doesn't once stop the drums, but its ethereal strings and subtle manipulation of intensity make it feel less like the banger it actually is. "Missile 1" is equally easy to get down to, mostly thanks to its rich vein of 303. With sharp synth hits balanced on top, the track is pleasingly nimble and polyrhythmic.
A2 The Standard
B2 It's Time