- This is Seuil's first appearance on Adam Marshall's New Kanada label, and it's something of a departure for the Parisian producer. Until now, his releases for labels like Moon Harbour, Eklo and Freak 'n Chic have been chunky affairs with plenty of chock-a-block percussive samples, tight vocal snippets, rubbery bass lines and truncated funk—the very definition of contemporary, post-minimal European house, where standout riffs are often less important than the overall feathery matrix of overlapping textures and interlocking loops.
"Nine Clouds," on the other hand, might be mistaken for a Scuba track, or even something off the Daphne label, albeit without the latter's hard, metallic edge. Its rhythmic structure bears as much in common with dubstep (or even two-step) as it does house, thanks to sharp, syncopated rimshots and a kick that only puts its foot down on the one and three. Flashing hi-hats and shakers lend a techno pulse and its sub-130 BPM will appeal to DJs of various stripes, landing in that rare sweet spot between genres. But why am I parsing stylistic points? The point of this track is its enveloping immediacy, and it's got that in spades. From the ever-evolving chords to the suggestive shadows and impenetrable background layers, "Nine Clouds" sucks you in and holds you tight.
"Blank Love" is more straightforwardly housey in its energy, but it's still worlds away from Seuil's previous work, with an analogue-inspired palette of drum machines and synthesizers and a long, melancholic melody whose meanderings are far more linear than his usual choppy style. It's a late-night tune to lose yourself in, moody and unambiguously sensual. At first "Lonely Place" is the least distinctive of the three tracks—not so much underwhelming as outmatched by the other two powerhouses here. But listen to the track on its own, and its charms open up; its simplicity is a virtue, with spare rhythms and open tones that will lend themselves to a variety of contexts. Its ambivalent bounce, carefree but guarded, faintly recalls Gunnar Wendel's "578" or even Omar-S's "Psychotic Photosynthesis," both for FXHE. It's a fine homage to that tradition of melodic, minimalist Detroit techno.
a1 Nine clouds
b1 Blank love
b2 Lonely place