- Colourful house that feels destined to conquer big rooms.
- Like her Studio Barnhus labelmates Kornél Kovács and Baba Stiltz, Sofia Kourtesis has an ear for offbeat samples, fuzzy-headed filter house and a certain tongue-in-cheek humour. After an initial appearance on the label's Volym 1 compilation, followed by last year's head-turning Sofia Kourtesis EP, the Peruvian musician returns to Studio Barnhus with four heavy-hitting tracks.
Along with that glint of Barnhusian humour, Kourtesis trades in a kind of relentless churn that has its roots in the disco ball reflections of '90s Paris and the hypnotic din of minimal techno. On her first EP, Kourtesis treated her samples like salvage—scrap material to dice, slice and repeat into oblivion, leaving dancers dazed and confused. This time she goes for the jugular, peppering the tough chug with audible nuggets of speech and song, sticky phrases like "blood on the leaves" or "I was working on a set in Hollywood" or "it's not lingerie and champagne like it used to be." On the glittering "Moninga," she even borrows the opening line from cult gang movie The Warriors, and there's one classic soul sample that really skirts the line between brave and brazen.
The upper frequencies are a dreamy whorl of filtered piano, fizzing acid, vocal snippets and twinkling arpeggios. But at the bottom end, Kourtesis's rhythm sections feel ready to conquer the biggest rooms. It's a beefed-up take on an evergreen sound, and an unexpected reminder of Julio Bashmore's underrated 2015 album Knockin' Boots, which shares Kourtesis's love of saucer-eyed Bangalterisms and radio-ready '90s dance hits. All four cuts are as slinky as they are solid, but the title track, in all its diamante-trimmed glamour, is the standout.
A1 Sarita Colonia