Sa Pa first surfaced with the album Fuubutsushi on Forum, a sub-label of the Weimar based Giegling imprint. The review of the album here on Inverted Audio commented on the intricate textural work which created something reminiscent of the dance floor rather than being geared towards it. Released on the Marcel Dettmann Records label, this second outing of Sa Pa is more directly intended for the club.
‘We Can Be Friends‘ features heavy bass, repetitive percussion with layered white noise and a sample that sounds like someone rummaging through the graveyard tool shed in the middle of the night. While it will certainly work well in a set, more variation would be appreciated. A few uses of distinct sound effects creeping out of the darkness here and there.
The second track calms things down a fair bit with a dubbed out feeling. Scraping sound effects and a texture that brings underwater scenes to mind coalesce with a calming pad. Very nice.
‘Fast Jam‘ is indeed a jam. A straightforward banging techno beat, the bass taken out and added throughout while a percussive element is being sculpted by alteration of the reverb effect. While this is very competent something “Sa Pa” is missing.
‘Untitled 11‘ has a deeper beat and is similar to the works on the debut album with more interesting sound effects lurking in the dark. A little laughter here, a murmuring and almost growling sound there. Some beeping effects. Making the track a minute longer wouldn’t hurt as this is rather excellent.
A fairly restricted sound palette is used in these productions. Muted kicks, bass and sparse amounts of elements. The production is top notch. The tracks lack colour. What is offered comes in the form of the kick and bass supplying a healthy amount of black, hi-hats together with effects providing white. ‘Morocco’ and the textural work of ‘Untitled 11’ are the highlights here. The straightforward techno of ‘We Can Be Friends’ and ‘Fast Jam’ is very well put together, it’s just that being works of Sa Pa something more twisted and adventurous is expected.
MDR 015 is out now, order a vinyl copy from Hardwax.
A1. We Can Be Friends
B1. Fast Jam
B2. Untitled 11