- A collection of tough but surprisingly beautiful electro and breakbeat tracks.
- You’d be hard pressed to find someone who likes the deeper end of dance music and hasn’t heard So Ingawa’s "Logo Queen" via YouTube's autoplay. This isn’t a complaint—it might be one of the few things this infamous algorithm gets right. That song, from the debut release on So Ingawa and DJ Masda's Cabaret Recordings, remains about as good a piece of deep house as you'll find anywhere. But a release that big can pigeonhole a label. Not so with Cabaret. The Japanese outfit has come a long way from "Logo Queen's" wispy piano melodies. Lately, the label has favored harder, sharper club sounds, whether the haunted techno of Binh or the acid-streaked electro of Evan Baggs and Katsuya Sano.
Fans of the label’s newer direction as well as punters who've wandered in from a YouTube rabbithole will find something to like on Mr. Ho's debut for the label. The Chinese producer offers up an EP with stargazing melodies for the heads and enough weight in the lower frequencies to keep the party bumping. No track captures this better than "Fishtank Race." A breakbeat simmers beneath a simple 3-note bassline, lending the track a functional feel before a broken and syncopated synthline makes its way across the mix. Even when introducing the melody, Mr. Ho holds back: we get its twinkles in fits and starts, making this one suited for the afters.
The two electro tracks, "Level Shortkut" and "Tunnel Vision," take us closer to emotional climax. Both are washed in a sea of Detroit-esque chords that makes the 808s feel warm and inviting (this is especially true of "Tunnel Vision," where acid squelches soften the percussion). These cuts round off another excellent release from a label that constantly expands its vision while remaining true to the blueprint that started it all.
A1 Level Shortkut
A2 Fishtank Race
B2 Tunnel Vision