Artist: Gus Gus
Title: Mallflowers EP
Label: Pineapple Records
By: Darren Rhys | 20 August 2006
  • A1: Mallflowers
  • B1: You Make Me Feel
  • B2: Degeneration

Gus Gus "Mallflowers EP"

Out Now on Pineapple Records

Gus Gus are best known for their huge crossover record 'David', which sits amongst a plethora of excellent releases from the Icelandic duo. The latest EP adds a further three original tracks to their impressive discography. 'Mallflowers', 'You Make Me Feel' and 'Degeneration' are the components of a varied and typically original offering from the production outfit.

Starting proceedings on the A-side is headline track 'Mallflowers'. To label this record as 'trance' is something which I do hesitantly, and while I'm not a fan of genres and categorisation, the piece certainly harks back to the glorious days of quality trance. Listeners will be forgiven for thinking of it as a forgotten record from the early to mid-90's.

Soaring, uplifting synths lead the way alongside disjointed percussion to create a euphoric atmosphere which is sustained throughout. Heavy groove quantisations on the hi-hat sequence add a slightly odd feel to it's overall structure, and there are other percussive elements slightly out of time with the main elements of the track. While this may concern DJ's striving for perfection in their beatmatching, one can't help but be drawn in by the deliberate inexactness. This in itself hints hints back to yesteryear, before the days of digital platforms and flawless sequencing. Such a refreshing track amongst the modern approach to dance music production, Mallflowers kicks off the EP very promisingly indeed.

'You Make Me Feel' follows on the B-side, and wastes little time in assaulting us with the trademark analog bass sound of Gus Gus. Some stunningly organic synths ride alongside before the introduction of the track's lead vocal. Perfectly effected with fantastic sense of depth and space, the seductive female uttering sets a warm, deep texture to a beautiful track. Some clearly defined kick drum rolls which are consistent throughout bring the groove together emphatically. Clocking in at just over four and a half minutes further serves to suggest this track is not a conventional house track, more a superbly executed electronic song. Fans of the deeper side of house will surely love this, and one suspects 'You Make Me Feel' will sit proudly alongside the very best work of Gus Gus.

Closing the EP, Gus Gus finish with 'Degeneration', another piece with a duration of just over four minutes. Some awkward closed hi-hats patterns (which seem a common theme throughout the release) encourage a spasmodic groove to drive forward into a great layer of orchestral strings which add an uplifting feel. A bold analog bass synth which is relentless throughout is solid without being spectacular. While it is the weakest of the three offerings on this EP, 'Degeneration' is typical Gus Gus; creative, bold and certainly different.

Another fantastic package from Gus Gus, with 'You Make Me Feel' being the strongest of a very strong bunch.

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