- Outart is Fabio Lo Monaco and Andrea Sirica, Italians relocated to London, and together they mine deep house without sounding especially beholden to it. Take "Steinburg," the stunner on this four-track EP (DJs agree, lifting it into the RA Top 20 in January). I came to it shortly after a YouTube-aided Paul Johnson mini-jag: the self-explanatory "Feel My M.F. Bass" and the gauche, absurd, lovable "Give Me Ecstasy." ("I'm so hiiigh. Where is my balloon?") "Steinburg," with its unapologetic kick-hat thump, overheard-sounding vocal deep in the bare mix, and irresistible "wha?" refrain, is right in line with that lineage. Indeed, Outart's February Top 10 features Paul Johnson at No. 7 (with "Get Get Down"). But "Steinburg" is brilliant no matter who inspired it, the kind of record that sounds like a way forward more than a genuflection, right down to the lyric: "That's why we put this together/To think about the future forever."
The rest of Sun Splash is more variable, though generally on the high end. The closing "En Vidi" is about half-and-half: the open-airy second half builds on its very bare first half, but it takes a long time to get somewhere. "Sun Splash," on the other hand, kicks off by giving us everything at once—a ripe, bouncy, Latin percussion-tinged loop that expands and contracts but doesn't abandon a core thickness. Some clever uses of obvious sources, too: the congas are slivers from the Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache" and the falsetto "ooh" sounds like Michael Jackson, but the horns are their own sweet-and-sour proposition. "Carrot" is a dub-laced drum exercise.
A Sun Splash