EP Review: Back Up Queen - Nathan Barato feat. The Ride Committee & Roxy

There seems to be something in the water in Toronto - recent months have seen a burst of techno and clipped, minimal house releases emerge from the city to melt our icy hearts and win over our souls.

Nathan Barato's debut release on Rekids continues that trend, taking a 70s soul vocal sample, some additional camp vocals and adding them to tight, reverb heavy jacking house. The girl fight lyrics are a little much much the chunky drums and enclosed echoing ambience of 'Back Up Queen' make it a great soundtrack for dark moments in small, dark rooms.

Two remixes follow up the a-side. Oliver $ gives things a deeper, tribal feel that ditches the sample and gives the vocal more presence. The 808 Fake mix does the opposite, ditching the vocal whilst tweaking and looping the sample into a simple bumping minimal groove. Of the two mixes the latter is probably the better but they both lack almost all of the charm of the original, which has just enough funk and classic house atmosphere to make it a sweaty seven-minutes of pleasure.

Back Up Queen is released on Rekids tomorrow.

EP Review: Aus - Nina Kraviz

Image source: MixmagAnother dance EP for you, hot on the heels of my recent reviews of Vidinovsky's Night Sun and Tanner Ross' Straight To The Moon. This one comes from the much hyped Nina Kraviz, out on Rekids.

I've been a fan of a number of Kraviz's previous releases - she takes the moody elegance of the minimal music that has been pushed by the likes of Crosstown Rebels over the sat few years and adds a bit of welcome femininity, pulling it back towards a house sound. This single, featuring the vocals of King Aus, is a great representation of that sound.

The original version of 'Aus', taken from Kraviz's eponymous debut album, is a deep and dubby house track that bubbles with a firm but sassy intent to party. King Aus' vocals are pure tribute to the movement of electronic music, paying homage to the dance floor and noting that "the dancers are really the ones that push the beat". The rhythms here feel tight and acrobatic whilst warm Rhodes keys provide dense layers of sticky melody. It's a delicious mix.

Remixes come from Rhythm Odyssey, Matt Edwards (of Radio Slave) and DJ Qu. None of these quite hit the same peak for me - they loose the delicately and intangible sexiness buried within those drum tracks of the original - though they are still generally worthy of inclusion, especially as the original is under five-minutes long.

The Rhythm Odyssey mix boils away with an acid bass line as the centre point whilst DJ Qu gives the whole thing a tech-house makeover. Edwards' mix is heavily percussive and probably the most interesting, stretching out the vocals and sliding in layers of paranoia, though it is not helped by Edwards' weird obsession with layering the noise of a Mac using its eye-sight camera throughout the mix. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time I suppose.

Aus is released on 25 June through Rekids.