- As soon as you say a dance track is too experimental, you end up sounding like a luddite. This is because if dance music was a language, there would be a few thousand ways to say "get on with it" or "just fucking bang it out" or "I despise non-sleazy music in all its forms".
Having said all of that, I can't help but feel that this Rhadoo EP actually is too experimental. Where is Rhadoo the DJ, who plays raw and raucous house and techno with a non-stop energy? Or Cadenza's label boss Luciano, who has been eulogising incessantly about his love for house of late, yet seemingly isn't keen to make or release any? I mean isn't Rhadoo's biggest track to date a stomping dubby re-work of Saint Germain, a worthy house re-work of a house classic? Why then is this EP so serious?
It's hard to tell. What's obvious, regardless, is that Rhadoo is an immensely talented producer. This is a seriously detailed EP. First up is ‘Bau’, an austere nine minutes of tribal and folk inflected house. It's right at home on Cadenza, recalling Luciano and Ricardo Villalobos, with a real disdain for structure. Next up is ‘Baisbe Alt Bass’, an even deeper excursion into the experimental. It's admirable but ultimately hard to love. Hasn't atonal melody been done to death in the last few years of mnml? Even if not at this depth?
Next up is ‘Elan', which splices shards of melody over deep sub-bass and a housey rhythm. Once again it's bone crushingly severe and serious. There may be a house beat to this but it's best considered electronica or some such thing. There's nothing wrong with that, but it is possible to experiment and make people move, indeed it's often the source of the very best music. The final track here ‘Slagare’ brings a crack of sunshine. Here there's a beat (a beat!) and a nagging chopped up folk riff, and a groove (a groove!) Unlike the other three tracks there's enough rhythm to make the bassline matter, to make you care.
We know what Rhadoo is capable of, yet it defies belief that someone who comes from a Romanian scene, which has a different and distinct knowledge of house and techno music at its raw energetic best, doesn't seem willing to make music inspired by what he plays. Sadly with this EP one lumpen thought barges through all others: "Rhadoo, just fucking bang it out!"
B Baisbe Alt Bass