Next week sees Alex Barck follow up with the third of his vinyl only EPs (Re-Set & Don't Hold Back) that are leading up to his solo album Reunion and it's another highly competent disco house release. This EP works with the theme dictated by the title, Sky High, and in a style that has been typical of Barck's solo material for this Reunion project it's all blue skies and sunshine and ocean horizons.
The release opens with 'We Get High', an disco track that packs in some soft electronic rhythms, bouncy reverb-laden drums, subtle keys and some lovely strings. The soulful vocals tell a tale of contentment and an emotional high - the beat dropping as the vocalist claims "It's enough... To be with you...". I'm not sure what Barck was taking whilst on the Le Reunion Indian Ocean island from which the forthcoming album takes its name but he really seems to have come back rather loved up.
The second original track, 'Skydancing', is a little more playful and upbeat but similarly obsessed with the sky and feeling high. It's excitable and energetic in comparison to the relaxed satisfaction of 'We Get High'. A rude shuffling bass and calypso rhythms give the track a holiday vibe that is hard to resist but doesn't quite pack the emotionally charged punch of much of the rest of Barck's work that we have heard this year.
Finally the EP is rounded out with a remix of 'We Get High' by Kalabrese, who applies his trademark free-form disco funk style. It's thick with atmosphere like it's been left out on the windowsill and started to melt. Heavy and dazed from the sun it has lost much of the peaceful feel of the original to become a dubby tightrope walk - gentle looped keys and a strummed bass line providing considerable tension.
Yet more here to be excited about now that Alex Barck's Reunion album nears...
Sky High is out on 10 June through Reunion, available to order through Amazon.co.uk on vinyl now [affiliate link].