Fantastic Man - It's Essential
|Tracks||1. It's Essential|
2. Wie Gehts
4. Scenic Route
11th June 2012
Unknown - We will find out!
ArtistLets Play House US
To describe my relationship with Let's Play House as love at first hearing would be no exaggeration. I recall it as if it were yesterday. It began during a blazing hot summer of partying, accompanied by sub 110 BPM balearic house. And, on a warm sultry night sipping mojitos and boogieing to the last tracks of the post-disco craze, the magic happened - Runaway's 'Indoor Pool' sounded out and immediately I was seduced by its deep slow groove and hypnotic echoed strings. I was under its spell and obsessively it became my most played track for the summer weeks that followed.
This was the label's first release, which coupled with their neat look and fresh design was boldly stating the obvious: Let's Play House was here to stay and deliver. And boy did they deliver! In under just nine months, there have been six strong 12" releases from the likes of Dead Rose Music Company, Naum Gabo, Toby Tobias or The M.E.B. and now it's Mic Newman's turn to press and impress.
'It's Essential' is the sixth LPH 12" pressing and released under Mic's Fantastic Man moniker. What's special about this one is that It's not your usual Mic Newman/Fantastic Man EP. Each track has its own past, its own history, and its own voice. It doesn't follow a predictable path, but rather takes you by surprise, twisting and turning, revealing and unfolding between your ears.
Starting with the title track, a grand piano infused 'jackin' house motif masterfully swinged over a deep house beat and topped with a fine selection of hi hats and smooth claps. Once in a while you can hear a distant faded string and a horn sample which is simply the icing on the cake. 'Wie Gehts' begins with a tribalish loop reminiscent of San Soda's 'Kaizen' but quickly changes it's flavor with the help of a delicious guitar melody, fractured sultry vocal samples and a clap that sounds so good, you can't tell if it comes from the speakers or the people dancing behind you.
Flipping the record we find there's something mystical happening on Side B and it's aptly named 'Sanctuary'. This third track is a perfect example of what a dreamy high octave piano can achieve when it's layered above an acoustic string bass line which is skillfully intertwined with the warmest and most beautiful analog synth you'll hear on a house jam this summer. As I mentioned before, the last track of this EP is nothing like the previous three. Perfectly placed at the end of the release, 'Scenic Route' digs into that late night/early morning vibe that is both melancholic and optimistic at the same time. The fat bassline and the hi-hat driven kick drum keeps you on your feet, the smooth spaced out pads and the glistening synth stabs remind you optimistically of the coming sunrise, while the echoed cinematic vocals act as a smooth lullaby for the late ones.
After an unhindered listen of the entire 12" you come to realize why 'It's Essential' is truly an essential masterpiece as diverse as the artist who put it together and as rich as his ancestral heritage.
Reviewed by Victor Stan