- As trendy as they may be these days, there’s something that can’t be denied about heavy nu-rave stomps. Though I’ve never really explored acts like Boys Noize or Justice, their high-gain, balls out intensity has always seemed like a lot of fun. On Playing for Keeps, Nathan Jonson (kid brother of Mathew) captures that raucous sound, but he does so with a bonkers sensibility that will appeal to the non nu-rave set.
‘Playing for Keeps’ and ‘Playing Daddy’s Girl’ are variations on the same theme: choppy big band samples nestled up against menacing synth arpeggios. The drums are thick and heavy, strutting along at a steady 130bpm with strings and horns burble frantically, giving the track a weird sense of humor that harkens back to ‘Crescendolls’ on Daft Punk’s Discovery. Though the title track is stronger, both cuts are rambunctious and irresistible party tunes.
On the b-side, The Mole remixes ‘Playing For Keeps’ into an eleven-minute loop house track. While the original track begins and ends abruptly, the Mole’s remix features a roomy intro and outro, allowing for more mixing creativity. Much like ‘Baby, You’re The One’ or Pitto’s ‘Sexvibe’, it is lean and minimal, despite its colorful house aesthetic.
Overall, this EP is somewhat of a cheap thrill. It does little more than take a popular sound and perfect it, but there is certainly something to be said for that. Though it may be too sugary to have much of a shelf life, these are powerful electro-house romps that will definitely grab anyone’s attention the first few times around— a nice dose of maximal for minimalists.
A1 Playing For Keeps (Daddy's Angel)
A2 Playing For Daddy's Girl
B1 Playing For Keeps (The Mole MMD Remix)