Polish imprint Step Recordings have been releasing scuzzy but thoughtful house music since 2014, tapping heavy hitters such as Eduardo de la Calle and Baltra alongside rising talents. For their first release of 2021, we get a 6-tracker from London duo Metropolitan Soul Museum that touches on everything from paranoid banger “Les Mondes Des Images” to contemplative soundscape “N.14″, but each track has a particularly emotive feel to it.
From where I am sitting in Toronto, Spring is a long ways away. And my sense is that it feels pretty far off from wherever the Metropolitan Soul Museum lads are spending Lockdown 152 or wherever we are. Our pick “Spring Crown” is about as tender and melancholic as they come. A downcast melody wavers across a skittering and skeletal beat that seems to constantly slip in and out of time.
Undulating chords slowly enter the mix as do some hi-hats, but even the hi-hats don’t seem totally sold on whether they want to be here or not. When they kick in at just after the 2 minute mark, it feels like this may signal a transition in the track, but there is a pensiveness to the hats as well, they slip lower into the mix like they can’t quite shake that winter thaw.
None of this is a bad thing. This is the type of music that can give you goosebumps or, if put on a car stereo, will instantly have everyone staring longingly out their window thinking they are the star of their own personal Natalie Portman film circa 2005. And smuggled into the backend of the track, there is a little bit of warmth. The melody that comes in after the break is cautious but beautiful, the first sprinkling of May flowers.
‘Les Mondes Des Images’ is scheduled for release 12 February via. Order a copy from Bandcamp.
1. Terre Ecosaisse
2. Les Mondes Des Images
3. Spring Crown
4. The Riot