Mihai Popoviciu delivers his third album and 6th release of his already long career via Poker Flat Recordings. The unassuming producer and DJ from Cluj, Romania (where he still lives), has earned plaudits from fellow producers and dancers alike, releasing on the likes of Highgrade, Dessous, Bedrock, and his own label, Cyclic.
‘Motion Manifold’ is a bold expression of his craft, each track shot through with that instantly recognisable Popoviciu texture and vibe. This is an album experience rather than a collection of dance floor cuts although it works in that respect also, its 10 tracks give a sense of completeness that demands many relistens.
‘Milky’ starts it out as a crisp, bouncy groove sets the tone before a deep subby bass and a delicious melodic line arrives. ‘Understand’ maintains the deepness submerged groover that skips along via Popoviciu’s slick sense of drum programming and a less-is-more approach. ‘Double Clap’ is a notch harder, taking us deeper into the club. The groove is augmented with some juicy 303 moments and deft use of vocal samples.
Popoviciu’s strong love of house chords and deep textures are evident in much of the album, not least in ‘Going Around’ and ‘Apricot’. ‘Sleepwalking’ has a dirty basement feel with the loopy bass and acid lead synth add a hypnotic, late-night vibe to proceedings.
In contrast, ‘Later That Day’ and ‘El Classico’ are more uplifting cuts, seemingly meant to be experienced in the sunshine, and featuring highly infectious percussion and a warm, positive vibe. ‘Cosinus’ sails close to Larry Heard territory, with a grooving, atmospheric bassline, and fizzing, emotive synths and pads. Last up, ‘Chrome’ ends the album in perfect style, another example of pristine sounding deep house that rolls out smoothly from the speakers.
03. Double Clap
04. Going Around
07. Later That Day
08. El Classico
‘Motion Manifold’ is out on Poker Flat Recordings on 25th September 2020.