- DJ Tennis's latest release on his own Life & Death label is more mini-album than EP. This is partly down to its length—seven tracks clocking in at 45 minutes—but also its tone. The record is inspired by Tennis's experiences touring in six cities, from Palermo to Hackney. This makes the tracks sound stylistically distinct but with a similar sense of exhausted dislocation—the DJ who experiences places transiently before being whisked to the next airport.
DJ Tennis, AKA Manfredi Romano, has never exactly made sun-drenched music. But Local is even moodier than usual, especially the opener "Love Child," which features Rapture singer Luke Jenner doing his best Antony Hegarty impression, and "You Closed My Eyes," where Romano takes the mic himself. Each has a little of Romano's sublime "Monocraft (Your Love Is Alright)" in the play-off between synth and vocal. It's maudlin, yes, but with optimism glimmering beneath the surface. Neither is quite as effective as "Monocraft," though, perhaps because the latter's sliding guitar and the former's mournful organ make the tears fall a touch too freely.
More positive—and better—are the bona fide club tracks. "Ah! Isobel" is a simple stomp and bell lick that bursts into Henrik Schwarz-style synth noodling. It deserves some early hours festival love this summer. "Floating Boy (Self Portrait)" is techno with a growl, building from a flickering sub pulse to synths that intertwine like cobras emerging from a basket. "Williamsburg" is an ebullient closer, all Oni Ayhun synth squeaks over a bassline that wanders and squelches. This leaves the North Lake remix of "Anatomy" a rather uncalled for addition. Its synths shimmer like icicles in sunlight, but it's too emotionless to fit with how personal the rest of the record sounds.
01. Love Child feat. Luke Jenner
02. Ah! Isobel
04. Floating Boy (Self Portrait)
05. You Closed My Eyes
07. Anatomy (North Lake Remix)