- As one of Panorama Bar's most talented resident DJs, it seemed only a matter of time before Steffi stepped into the limelight as a producer. She made her debut with"24 Hours," a simple and classy deep house track she threw together in one night for Tama Sumo's Panorama Bar 02 compilation. On "Kill Me," she pulls out the big guns, aiming for the pounding feel of her sets at Berlin's famed venue. Like much of Ostgut-Ton's best material, the EP manages to feel both modern and classic, and achieves an anthemic quality without any obnoxious hooks—aside from the unfortunate vocal mix.
"Kill Me (Instrumental Dub)" is probably the EP's strongest track. It rides a heavily thumping beat, complemented by a bouncing synth line and simple but well executed percussive flourishes. Elif Biçer completes the mix with some elliptical diva chirps and moans, giving the whole thing a sexy feel while keeping it cheese-free. Though it's hard to pin down exactly why, this track tends to push parties into peak mode—something about it just exudes that feeling of "this shit's about to go down." At just over five minutes, it's short and sweet, and sure to get people's hands in the air. Don't be surprised if this one ends up being one of 2010's most played tracks.
On the B-side, the "Crushed Soul Mix" turns the energy down a notch, opting for a more romantic, dimmed-lights kind of vibe. Cooing synths provide a soft back-drop, while sonorous snaps evoke a tender, almost R&B-ish feel. Nonetheless, the beat is thick and funky enough to keep things moving, making this track as versatile as it is distinct. The "Instrumental Dub" may end up as the record's star track, but the sultrier "Crushed Soul" mix has just as much to offer.
Sadly, "Kill Me" begins with a particularly weird misstep: the original mix, which features lead vocals by Elif Biçer. Singing throughout the duration of the track, Biçer assumes the role of the sassy house diva, telling off a man who wronged her—a classic house trope, and one that Biçer badly fumbles. Her vocal style lacks the nerve for this kind of tough-girl role, making lines like "you are behaving like an idiot" sound awkward and wide of the mark. Given the fine work she did on Ben Klock's One and Promumer & Murat Tepeli's Serenity, it's easy to see how this collaboration might have seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, it ends up sinking the EP's first A-side track.
Luckily, the other two versions of "Kill Me" are fantastic enough for us to just pretend this failed experiment never happened. Their balance of feminine soul and raw energy makes them a sure shot on the dance floor, and their slightly old school, rough-edged aesthetic further showcases Steffi's already mature sound.
A1 Kill Me
B1 Kill Me (Instrumental Dub Mix)
B2 Kill Me (Crushed Soul Mix)