- If you go clubbing in the Netherlands there's a chance you've heard a set by Thessa Torsing, AKA upsammy, in the past year or so. If you don't, the name will likely be unfamiliar, unless you're an avid listener of Hessle Audio's Rinse FM show or follow Nous'Klaer, the smart Rotterdam label that introduced the world to her music with two mesmerising cuts on a compilation last September. Their relationship continues to blossom on Another Place, Torsing's excellent solo debut.
Torsing grew up listening to her dad's dance music CDs, like Tiësto's Forbidden Paradise 4 and MTV Lounge Vol. 3. That taste for big sounds and dramatic moods comes through in her productions, though the music is dark and tense, better suited to pitch-black basements than stadiums. The beatless "Zona" opens with the eerie rattling of metal down a dank alleyway, before bassy bleeps and sweeping synths lead us to the EP's first beautiful melody. "09-06," by contrast, bangs, with synths pinballing between angular breakbeats and razor-sharp claps. The balance of light and dark is striking, techno rich with feeling and ideas.
The title track is even better. Where "09-06" stopped just short of hitting that transcendental sweet spot, "Another Place" nails it, as metronomic triangle and off-balance kicks combine with the kind of epic, electrifying synth line that will glue any dance floor. In a deft move, Torsing stretches out the breakdown for a good 70 seconds, cranking up the intensity before slamming the kicks back in alongside a fresh tidal wave of cymbals. That drop alone makes it one of my favourite tracks so far this year. Torsing changes tack on "A Window" by touching on psychedelic rock, her other musical love. Breezy twangs hover over lumbering drums, while a soft, upbeat melody leaves things on a bright note. End your set with it and everyone will leave smiling.
B1 Another Place
B2 A Window