- This record will probably make you wonder why you haven't come across Damiano von Erckert or his label, Ava, before. It's thoughtful, innovative house music that flexes muscles seemingly trained over time. That's because it's von Erckert's (and his label's) debut release.
The Cologne upstart is levered somewhat by known names in Murat Tepeli and Christopher Rau, though he is by no means outshone. Both his original offerings here are standouts, particularly "Symphonie of a Brother" (produced alongside fellow noob Funkycan), which is a remarkably tasteful blend of orchestral samples, Blaxploitation vox, Rhodes jamming and a French touch-style beat. "Untitled Emotion" is more subtle and grows with time as a result. It's one of those deep house tracks with sufficient elements of both funk and eccentricity to prick interest in novelty while remaining entirely accessible. In his remix, Murat Tepeli keeps these elements largely in original form and stretches them into a complementary dub, creating plenty of space in which they reverberate and sparkle with the aid of a solitary, occasional ping of the triangle.
Christopher Rau is left to round off Ava's meet and greet with "First Hazar"—a proverbial auf wiedersehen you are unlikely to forget. A shade of Detroit in the percussion is about the only aspect rooted in anything familiar here. Elsewhere the jittering kicks, assuredly free melody, strange vocal gasps and cowbell phantasms gel together unexpectedly easily. You get it, without really knowing what it is. Going on first impressions, Ava will be one to watch.
A1 Damiano von Erckert - Untitled Emotion
A2 Damiano von Erckert – Untitled Emotion (Murat Tepeli remix)
B1 Damiano von Erckert & Funkycan – Symphonie of a Brother
B2 Christopher Rau – First Hazar