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Ricardo Tobar: If I Love You

That ‘other’ Chilean electronic alumni named Ricardo Tobar drops a new EP for Desire in the shape of ‘If I Love You’, a four track package of mixes exhibiting a wide variety in its interpretations, ahead of a debut album for the same label – a record which holds great promise if the form of his previous releases for the likes of Border Community can be maintained.

Interestingly the lead choice is not the original but instead a version by D’Marc Cantu of Creme Organization fame, who offers what is certainly the closest version to Tobar’s. A simple acid bassline burbles contentedly under a constant chord which adds a certain drama before the track is punctuated with infrequent melodic notes and what are ultimately straightforward percussive changes, alongside the sampled refrain that gives the package its title. There’s nothing groundbreaking here but with this sort of retro analogue vibe (think Legowelt et al) that’s not really the point. It’s all about the execution and this track is done to perfection. Expect this to be large with the discerning crowds for the rest of the year.

Expect the same of the original mix – Tobar’s version has a denser melodic feel to it along with that slightly off-key wooziness that characterises his sound, but is constantly wound up and then released with a stupendously hard-hitting bassline and an upwards synth transposition, exacerbated by some neat digital trickery at the point of each transition. It’s an emotional ride that you feel is as likely to result in tears on the dancefloor as it is hands in the air.

Samuel Kerridge, fresh from an experimental EP for Downwards, takes a turn for the darker, melding icy feedback to metallic clangs over a painstakingly slow stomp whilst a refrain of the original melody is filtered through a wash of reverberation. The set is completed by Parisian Low Jack who turns in a frenetically uptempo techno banger with the occasional half-step counterpoint. A repetitive tone reminiscent of a burglar alarm does battle with apocalyptic stabs and robotic percussion designed to instil terror in the warehouse. This is a varied EP which takes the source material to unexpected corners and thus has something which should appeal to many tastes, but the key to it is the high quality of the work across the board.

Read our interview with Ricardo Tobar and download his IA MIX.