When the idea of launching his own label surfaced, Amsterdam-based producer Olf Van Elden (bka Interstellar Funk) didn’t have very far to go to find his heart’s desire. To take helm of the first instalment of his newly-founded imprint, Artificial Dance, Olf chose to hand the reins over to a rising local talent in the person of Job Sifre, who’s quickly gone from the status of exciting prospect to the one of next big thing in the space of a few months – to his own surprise.
Despite Sifre’s refreshing humility and honesty, ‘Worries‘ undoubtedly made a splash and flew off the shelves at an impressive pace. Interestingly enough, it was also the most-played record at Dekmantel Selectors last year, a recognition of his peers which only added to the pressure and expectations usually associated with all sophomore releases. Out via Mark van de Maat’s ever dependable Knekelhuis label, Job’s second EP ‘Bestaan‘ does better than live up to expectations, it further establishes the young Red Light Radio and De School resident as a new vital player in town.
Fitting somewhere in between Nitzer Ebb and Liaisons Dangereuses, the stunning title-track sets the tone straightaway, hybridising a powerful blend of EBM rhythms and entangled cold-wave’y synth strata, both melodic at heart and rugged at the edges. This is where Sifre’s sound flourishes – in the gap between frontally aggro percussive salvos and further refined harmonic lines, like blooming vetch growing upon the rusty flanks of some filthy factory columns – an invasive gorgeousness recapturing its crucial space over the ugly.
Still, behind the clanky – heavily oxidised appeal of his compositions’ foundations lies a rich alloy, built to withstand the heft of extremely intricate build-ups and deftly manoeuvred sequences aimed at extensive club use without ever feeling merely tool-worth, plainly functional but also strong-minded: ‘Zodiak‘ is a perfect example of that scopious range of capabilities, but sheesh… does it have guts!
‘Mars Express‘ serves as a fine interlude between the A-side and the flip, but the hypersonic ‘Zeno Dicho‘ rapidly steals the show with its frantic surge of space opera-like arpeggios going full blast and barely audible vocodized vox fragments dissolving in a torrent of whipping snares and radioactive gamma ray outbursts. After such a relentless excursion into the most distant areas of our galaxy, you’ll certainly enjoy a bit of relaxation and Sifre has you covered.
An understated downtempo rambling, the equally immersive and slightly off-axis ‘At Least We Try‘ makes for a compelling ending to this top-class second effort. Even though we usually try and stay cautious as to who will survive the hype and who won’t – oh, the ever temperamental internet era – we have almost zero doubt Sifre will still be around inspiring the young generations with his retro-futuristic gems in ten years and beyond. Unless he wants out for some reason, but we really wish him – and ourselves – a long career.
Bestaan is out now via Knekelhuis, order a copy from Bandcamp.
A3. Mars Express
B1. Zeno Dicho
B2. At Least We Try