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Headless Ghost: Frontend EP

Clone and its formidable slew of sub-labels have been on fire recently, and for 2013 scene stalwart and impressive Chameleon Ripperton takes to the stage under his Headless Ghost guise for a winning release on the analog-leaning Royal Oak imprint. The name of this EP pegs it as a spiritual successor to the producer’s own Backend release on Sthmlaudio, and these three tunes pick up where Backend’s raw, bouncy jackers left off.

Opener Basik Fire is the monster here, and is sure to get heavy club play; bright synth whirs and a firm kick lead into a tunnelling bass bounce and filtered vocal loops that conjure ferocious energy that doesn’t let up over the 7-minute runtime, achieving a perfect balance of light and dark, of bounciness and intoxicating raw sounds. SP3 is a little more unhinged, incisive strings and plenty of sonic details providing a more cerebral, eyes-down affair until the stuttering kick builds to a feverish synth wail that ups the energy for the track’s final third.

Third cut Yeah is no less impressive, the titular vocal cut intruding cheekily into a bed of swirling synth accents and rattling stabs. A squiggly 303 line makes an unexpected appearance to round off the groove, just one of the many expert additions that keep these tunes fresh and interesting on repeated spins. This is more than house-by-the-numbers, Royal Oak have upped their game once more with a set of rolling house workouts that are sure to stand out in any set, whatever your style.