If you live in one of Western Europe's dance music capitals, a trip to Croatia probably means dancing to the same music as always, just with much better weather. A new split EP on Berlin's 777 Recordings suggests we should look further than the sounds represented on the country's festival stages and pristine beaches, however. Brothers brings together Ftp Up and Brighton, Croatian newcomers pushing a sultry, gritty, tightly-wound and expansive mash of house and techno.
Ftp Up's side begins with the EP's wildest cut—probably one of the most deranged and least definable dance tunes I've heard this year. "No Sugar" sounds innocent enough at first, its placid chords draped over chugging analog drums. With a whistle blast, the pace seems to quicken, and soon they've barreled into a L.I.E.S.-style drum-machine pileup. After a suggestive sigh, the orderly arrangement that opened the tune returns, this time with a sinister edge. "Mogadishu" follows nearly the opposite trajectory, opening on pitch-black acid before glimmers of warm synthesizer glint on the horizon. Save for a few on SoundCloud, these tunes are all you'll find from Ftp Up, but you'll come off his A-side desperate for more.
There's slightly more information on Brighton: he's from Zagreb, and an ambient tune of his, "Sendme," featured on BNJMN's side of last year's Air Texture Volume IV compilation. His propulsive Brothers tracks are decidedly not ambient, though he continues to use sustained chords to devastating effect. On "Haze Maze," it's a squiggle of nasal tones that morph almost imperceptibly into complex washes of sound, then shrink back down again. A similar, calming synth sound flits in and out of "Jam Track," always somewhere in a mix prone to bubbling over with abstract melodies and drum fills. It's a fitting end for an EP filled to the brim with novel ideas.
TracklistA1 No Sugar
B1 Haze Maze
B2 Jam Track