- Tiga may have made his name with insouciant electro hits like "Sunglasses at Night," but his Turbo Recordings label shows how wide his tastes range: from acts like Chromeo and Boys Noize to Roman Flügel and Azari & III, and numerous points in between. Switzerland's Crowdpleaser still strikes me as one of Turbo's most unexpected signings, with a low-key, "organic" approach to house music that's worlds away from the high-octane likes of Zombie Nation and Brodinski.
The two originals here, "Together We're Strong" and "Nenekri," come from Crowdpleaser's self-titled album, recently released on Turbo. "Together" might seem like an odd choice for an EP release, with an understated drum machine skip and hazy, glancing keyboards; as Michelangelo Matos put it, "It slips in through the side door rather than making a proper entrance." "Nenekri" is more upfront, with multitracked vocals from Burkina Faso's Wamian Kaid laid over colorful Rhodes and synth lines; wisely, given the fullness of the harmonic elements, the drums mostly lie back and keep time. The dub mix here sounds almost like a demo, shorn of the album version's swollen synth lines and stripped back to splotchy Rhodes figures and singer Wamian Kaid's multitracked vocals. Even the kick sounds thinner here, lending a spindly quality to the drum machines, while Kaid's looped whispers accentuate the scratchy, shaker-heavy groove.
If you're familiar with the work of Crowdpleaser's countryman Kalabrese, you know what to expect from his remix: squelchy Moog bass, fluid percussive lines and supersaturated tone color. Both the harmonies and the groove bear ample comparison to his own "Alberto," released on Phictiv back in 2008. The Exit Ghost, whoever that is, goes for a stylistically polyglot mix that pairs Kaid's vocals with hard, syncopated snares and synth lines—an approach that falls in line with the growing trove of kwaito, kuduro and other African electronic styles to make their ways to Western ears. The most unusual remix, though, comes from Mickey Moonlight, who chops up the vocals and arrays them over pitch-bent Rhodes and cracking drum machines; it sounds a bit like Soul Designer's great remix of Frederic Galliano and the African Divas' "Woualaï" in its fusion of jacking house and dubbed-out call-and-response.
01. Together We're Strong
03. Nenekri (Mickey Moonlight Remix)
04. Nenekri (Dub Version)
05. Nenekri (Kalabrese Remix)
06. Nenekri (The Exit Ghost remix)
07. Nenekri (Entlet remix - bonus track)