Review – Quell releases the vinyl only Tomahawk EP

Artist : Quell
Title : Tomahawk EP
Label : Music is Love
Cat No : M2022
Release : Out This week
Genre : House

Berlin based artist Quell has had a pretty good run of late. His reputation for no-nonsense, stripped back house and techno has won him an army of underground fans and DJ alike, and this 4 tracker on Music is Love is no exception. Music is Love is a UK record label taking a calculated gamble here with a vinyl only release. The overall feel of this EP is very 90s, and as someone who experienced the sounds and sights of 90s clubland, it comes as a timely reminder of a scene long gone, but never forgotten.

‘Size 7’ gets things underway and initially, Im personally a bit turned off by it until a distorted vocal gives an edge to the beat. Renowned for his intricate heavy hitting bass lines, Quell moves forward, growing increasingly in intensity until the unrepentant 90’s house chords herald in new atmospherics to create a dark, underground beast of a track.

‘Monolame’ picks up where Size 7 left off. A well executed bass line and clever percussion forms the spine of track which is brimming over with intermittent vocal samples and deep, shimmering chords. Dubbed out stabs playfully weave among the multi-layered arrangements, which combine superbly together to deliver a brilliant slice of contemporary house music.

Track 3 – ‘Harhead’, leads with fluid percussive rhythms and satisfying kick drums. Atmospheric synths whirl and bounce off the dubby, warped stabs while the hi-hats and intricate nuanced melodies kept track driving along. Lastly, ‘Where Are They Now’ is a beast. Its a dark, techno-fused 5am in Berghain kinda of a track. Key stabs dance beside well placed percussion sequences which ebb and flow with a wonderful natural feel over stomping drums and devilish chords. The synths and vocals add further interest, delivering a deep and powerful track with an acid tinged feel.

Pretty great EP from a talented producer. More please!