- If Traffic Records' last EP was one of its finest to date, then their latest 12-inch, from Martynè & Jacob, hits it out of the park. These four tracks are at once demented and light-hearted. Each pairs nimble basslines with kooky melodies, putting a smile on your face and freaking you out in equal measure. The drums are fleet-footed and the mood is generally buoyant, even humorous (the A2 is named after a German frozen pizza), but there's an undercurrent of mania bubbling beneath the surface. On Benza, anxiety has never sounded so fun.
Both A-side tracks are sprightly and ear-catching but develop at a simmer. "Frischfisch" has a lead line that jumps around the stereo field like an aggravated flea, never really hitting a note that doesn't feel queasily atonal. Yet for all its weirdness, the track is infectious, with understated but highly effective sub and drum work. The middle third goes further with its quasi-trance melodic figure, which could be unassumingly anthemic in a well-paced DJ set. "Oh, Mein Rustipani" pulls a similar trick, using a lead line that sounds like Stevie Wonder's Clavinet being sporadically shaken in a malfunctioning elevator. Playful details abound but again, a syncopated bassline makes this tune satisfying on a gut level.
On the flip, "Benza" is of a piece with the A-side, albeit with a more inscrutable atmosphere. "Who's Snorki" is a B-boy-baiting, broken-beat electro tune, with ping-ponged 808 cowbells and a mangled, streetwise vocal sample. The A-side may be the star of the show, but the whole EP nails the balancing act between odd sounds and undeniable grooves. Benza is reliable on the dance floor without compromising your will to be weird.
A2 Oh, Mein Rustipani
B2 Who's Snorki