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Oleg Poliakov: Fabuleuse Nebuleuse

Some say he’s a Russian posing as a Frenchman, or vice versa for his Skat moniker. Either way, Frederic Aubourg (who grew up in Rouen, France, incidentally) has been dropping some ocean-deep house music for the last few years, and his latest instalment on Circus Company continues in this vein. The French label has been catching ears for some time now, with past releases from DJ Koze, Dave Aju, Deetron and Seth Troxler drawing considerable attention – not to mention last year’s superb “Space Is Only Noise” full-length courtesy of Nicolas Jaar.

With considerable standards to uphold, Poliakov brings an elegant, balanced addition to all of the above. His beats are punchy and tight, with an attention to groove that highlights his beginnings as a hip-hop producer. “Superservant” clicks its way through a vinyl fog before introducing what Circus Company describe as “icy tones and glacial percussion,” which try in vain to cut apart the fat, warm bass and kick jogging along beneath. Crisp hats are offset with bursts of noise and barely distinguishable vocal samples, all nurtured by smooth pad chords.

The title track is a slower affair, creeping from early Detroit between plethoric percussive hits. A thumping four-on-the-floor holds a flanging pad steady as it calmly rotates within its galactic soundscape. Meanwhile, “Leaving That Place” showcases a soft duel between reticent vocals, syncopated claps, and fluttering chords. Subtle off-beat tambourines complement crackles of static alternating between left and right (don’t worry, it’s not your speakers…), and the EP fades abruptly into the fabled nebula from whence it came…