- It often seems like the tracks that stay fresh the longest are the ones with the least embellishment. Clever vocals and epic breakdowns are fun, but chances are you'll get more mileage out of something simple with a perfect groove. Nick Curly's midsummer release on Cécille is one such record. On Dubnoise EP, Curly squeezes a lot of personality out of understated house motifs, assembling a classy and effective handful of tracks in the process.
The opening two tracks on Dubnoise are cut from the same cloth—funky, uncluttered house tunes that make great use of a dry tonal palette. "Happy Five" relies on little more than woody percussion and lightly dispensed delay to stir up a nice bouncing momentum. "Dubnoise" is equally restrained, but allows in some modest breakdowns, bongos and horn stabs. Much like last year's "Deepest America" by Sascha Dive, the lean clarity of these tracks makes them especially potent, and exceptionally DJ friendly.
On the flip, "Somewhere in Berlin" marks a distinct change in style, ushering in the ambience of what sounds like a train station and some male vocal hiccups. The drums are still tight and concise, but liberal use of reverb and drifting urban imagery make this track more ornate than the first two. For my money, the dry funk of "Happy Five" and "Dubnoise" is where Curly really shines, but "Somewhere in Berlin" does draw up some nice atmosphere. Dubnoise is about as unassuming as house gets, but its lack of frills and delicate attention to rhythm guarantees it a long tenure in the collective DJ crate.
A1 Happy Five
B Somewhere in Berlin