Mr. Tophat - Only One

  • Karlovak bows out with two ambitious house tracks.
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  • Mr. Tophat and Art Alfie are closing the Karlovak label they cofounded in Stockholm in 2011. No explanation has been given, but they haven't released as a duo since 2016. Art Alfie recently launched his own label, Velvet Pony, and released a couple of solo EPs. Mr. Tophat has just dropped his own second EP of 2018, Only One, the last-ever Karlovak release. It sees the label go out with bangers. The digital-only radio edit "Only One" opens with diva vocals, circular piano chords, hand drumming and what might be a glockenspiel. The extended version makes an abrupt about-face, launching a filtered synth stab not unlike the Randy Alpert sample made famous by The Notorious B.I.G in "Hypnotise." The percussion builds, then gives way to a piano-led disco reprise. "Legends" features guitar from Mr. Tophat's Uncle Nik, who supposedly played with the likes of B.B. King and Fillmore Slim. Improbably, it blends R2-D2-like bleeps with Nik's gentle flamenco strumming that progresses into bluesier, reverb-drenched fare over the track's 18 minutes. The variation of the guitar and constancy of the snapping beat makes for a meandering yet grounded journey—great for the afterparty if not the dance floor proper. It's an indulgent last hurrah, and why not. So many of Karlovak's extravagant pleasures have become ours, too.
  • Tracklist
      A Only One B Legends Digital: Only One (Radio Edit)