Don't Hold Back is the next entry in Jazzanova founding member Alex Barck's series of twelves. Barck's latest release builds on the soulful house stylings of the first release Re-Set.
If anything Don't Hold Back is an event stronger track, and I was already a big fan of Re-Set. Where Barck's earlier release was warm and soulful this feels bluesy and aimed at a darker, post-sunset crowd. Massive vocal melodies are carved into stark chord progressions that channel Yes' glorious Owner Of A Lonely Heart in their pomp and progressiveness. Vocalist Jonatan Bäckelie emits words like they've erupted in his gut, a little Jacko in delivery, he's always turned up to 11. Bruised piano notes and sliced up strings come together to give the track a contrasting feel - both grounded but also deliberately dramatic and surreal - as the title suggests, nothing is held back.
It all works so well because Barck totally owns his sound - it references things you may know, but this isn't standard house music, it isn't a simple re-tread of disco and it way more sophisticated than any electronic pop you'll have heard lately. It already feels like Barck has a signature touch.
On the flip is another original track in the form of Atmosphere. It's another unique sounding piece, a progressive acid track that plays with layers of synths and complex rhythms. When the wordless male vocal hook arrives it lends the track a deep bluesy feel - hot, needy and desperate.
The final track is a remix of Atmosphere by VECT, who gives it a loose, abstract feel that mirrors the jazz experimentation of Flying Lotus and provides a compliment to the rest of the EP.
Barck's Reunion album is due later this year and based on what I'm hearing it's one of my most anticipated releases.
Don't Hold Back is out now through Reunion, preview the title track via Soundcloud below: