Ilya Santana - Transborder

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  • Having put out two EPs on Eskimo last year, Ilya Santana is now apparently an exclusive artist on the Belgian label. But whereas the previous releases had more of a cosmic prog rock bent, full of Floydian synths, Transborder settles a bit more into a straightforward disco template. The big synths are still there, and the results are undoubtedly bombastic, but it's a move that seems to lose some of the magical feel. Overall, it's a well structured lesson in the nu-disco template. Retro synth patches, cowbell percussion and clattery tom middle eights feature. But its strength, on paper, is also its weakness: it's too straightforward. It doesn't stray far from the chord sequence/riff proposed in the intro (although there's many variations) and it seems to be missing just one thing, a keyboard solo or vocal perhaps. Letherette, up-and-comers whose remixes have appeared on Warp and Planet Mu, turn out a fractured hip-hop take on the original with meditative pianos and strings. It drifts lushly through more psychedelically tonic pastures, not trying for the limelight and succeeding amply in its modest aims. Minilogue, meanwhile, head full-pelt into this kind of territory with a masterful fifteen minutes of conceptual music which lazily drifts though various noodling synth lines and jazzy soloing underpinned by a solid 4/4, basically wandering around in a daze until strings finally bliss it out; it's not so much hypnotic as anaesthetising. Despite the only gradual changes, everything that happens is a surprise.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Transborder A2 Transborder (Letherette Remix) B Transborder (Minilogue's Border Illusion Remix)