Hailing from the frozen shores of Russia, little is known about Art Crime’s real identity. His first feat of arms is a sharply executed debut for William Burnett’s W.T. Records that came out in early 2014 and constituted one of the year’s most exciting discoveries. Replete with monomaniac piano-loaded phases and tinkling chords, Never Look Back crisply unfurled its comely nostalgia through a constant influx of sleek, polished house melodies. Dipping even deeper into synthetic strata and silky arrangements, this new Obsession EP for Phonica offers a lush example of Art Crime’s perfectionism and tasteful constructions.
Where Never Look Back laid the foundations of his finely-crafted aesthetics, Obsession pushes it to new extents. Obviously, the piano still occupies a prominent place in the producer’s sound architectonic, remaining his favorite tool for melodic punctuation and present on all four tracks. The vibrant sub-bass and swinging beat of the title track Obsession break the EP in with full impact. While zenithal arpeggios come rippling and skimming upon glassy textures, heavy kicks break amid elegiac pads. Art Crime then toys with both exhilarating rave-y accents and meditative introspection, veiling his dancefloor acuity with a dash of gauzy mystique.
The record keeps unfolding through its own space-time continuum, hatching highly-euphonious harmonics and sassy groove science in a constant shift of tempo. Next on the platter comes Show Interest: the track races and revs up straight from electronic bounds to italo-disco realms, displaying a moody atmosphere reminiscent of the Visonia meets Dopplereffekt collab. The parallelly arpeggiated bass lines and fast-hitting synth jabs sustain the uptempo whirl for a mind-bending sequence of throbbing scapes before the transcendent excursion re-enters its prime orbit with Eye Contact. The first track of the flip side rolls out another string of empyrean pads and muted kicks while piano keys beat time in an endless carousel of chiming arpeggios.
It’s rather difficult to pick a favorite in this procession of coherently-assembled tunes. Deriving elements from their previous use and re-organizing them through a different programming, playing on variation and repetition without harking back the same motifs, this is where Art Crime excels. The flickering charm of the last track Rise Fall Run is basically the perfect example of a simple and smooth closing track. It may sound anecdotal, it still encapsulates the raw DNA of the record without deflecting the exposure from the previous tracks. Most definitely a subtle closure to a shrewdly finished plate, Art Crime did it again.
Obsession EP is out now on Phonica Records, order a copy from their web-store.
A2. Show Interest
AA1. Eye Contact
AA2. Rise Fall Run