Review – MUUI releases Elsa EP on Crossfrontier Audio

Artist: MUUI

Title: Elsa EP
Label: Crossfontier Audio
Cat No: CFA034
Release: 01/06/2015
Genre: House/Tech House

Since his move to Berlin last year, MUUI has been quietly beavering away in the studio knocking out a series of solid tracks. His artist album was one of the finest collections of music I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, and when the opportunity to comment on this EP presented itself, I jumped at the chance. I’ve not always been MUUI’s biggest fan, but having been completely emerged in his album recently, I’ve become very fond of the way he visualises sound. This EP continues that bromance with aplomb!

Title track Elsa starts brightly enough with a groovy bass and shimmering rising synths. Soon the listener is lost in the hypnotic vibe and new element come into focus to stimulate attention. Theres textures of old progressive in there ala Van Bellen or Funk Fuction and its very quickly apparent the quality of this guys work. In no time were 3 minutes in and ready for that mid track break. In true techno style, its merely the bottom end which is removed keeping the energy up and as the bassline kicks back in theres a cheer in my mind in triumph. Solid and musical, this is one for my sets for a long while.

Nuala is a deeper affair. Loose percussion and congas lead you in to the track. Everything feels very relaxed and sedate; in complete antithesis of the previous track in fact. Everythng just grooves along and elements are added with caution and precision. The flute like hook echos devilishly and its repetion bores into your head until a high C pad takes your attention. Elements drop away as the pad increases in volume and intensity. Its a long break and the the reintroduction of the bass and drums serves as a welcome relief from the tension the break created. Like a good pill, this ones a slow burner, be warned!

Sudden Circle sounds initially very basic. Sorry MUUI, but it does. Of course it doesn’t stay like that for long and the introduction of the bass and highly reverberated pad elevates it beyond the boring and samey that blights the tech house scene. Another slow burner, this is a call to the dance floor to find a good space and just groove. As with all of this EP, its in the breakdowns that you find the most work, and this one is no exception. Building to a wall of sound the break strips everything away leaving the listener hanging; wanting more. Quickly sated by the second half o the track, we’re back to the groove and we power through to the end.

Down Five is unabashedly tribal from the get go. Warm sine wave bass envelopes us as the percussive elements grow in intensity. This one has a slightly old skool feel to it while retaining a timeless future proof quality. The deepest of the four cuts this sheds a different light on a producer equally at home making bangers as he is constructing delicate, musical set builders. 

Get on this EP if you even remotely like house music!