Le Dom’s new EP via Tessier Ashpool, OAZIZ is a presumptuous son of a bitch. The tracks scream out at you in all-caps from the moment you load them into iTunes and that’s about as subtle as the EP gets. The punk aesthetic that Liar’s label has been cultivating for the past four releases runs all the way through the artwork to your ears and should carry a warning for those with severe health issues. The assault begins in the opening bars of the EP on the title track and is relentless thereon in. Le Dom is the new club-music moniker of, Domenico Bercelli, a French AV specialist turned producer. The Internet fairies tell me “his excellent debut EP, “Citadel”, released by London outfit Dred Collective, still stands as a testament to his deftness in mixing pop sensibilities with a functionalist outlook.” OAZIZ continues on this functionalist path with a bubbling synth motif punctuated with syncopated kicks before falling into complete disarray with a metallic onslaught of incessant synth-stabs and machine-like percussive kick rolls. The producer betrays something of his French heritage with gated-reverb toms straight of the eighties and as result begs to draw parallels to other French producer’s like Mr. Ozio. This is short lived and spontaneous throughout however as Le Dom’s sensibilities show an affiliation with bass and grime too. On RUB UP a menacing little pop synth hook keeps exploring the scale further clawing at the surface of some impending doom, before an irregular kick makes a conspicuous return with a low-end that could knock a satellite out of orbit. The short-lived house opener served as a misleading ruse during the introduction and never makes a full return. It gives Le Dom’s music a very cut and paste aesthetic, a schizophrenic montage of different influences as they fuse into this tech-grime-bass hybrid.
OAZIZ is not a subtle arrangement and means to be heard on the first listen. Even the restrained hi-hats of BANG US doesn’t last long before it falls into complete mayhem with a repetitive kick that wants to be everywhere all the time, while the metallic pitched percussion drives the nail home in hasty staccato. A sober pad in the middle eight only manages to stem the tide for a while before the short and sharp percussive sounds flow over the barrier again. Hearing this track on a dance floor somewhere would cause nothing short of riot. The way Le Dom uses short sharp sounds to relay his music has traits of early Egyptrixx and Night Slugs, but at the same time it also offers a little more depth in the busy arrangements, like that catchy little synth-lick on RUB UP.
The signature remix on this release comes form label head Liar, but it’s not the innocuous standard of clubland’s recent status quo. It builds up slowly through boomy synths, plucked strings and ethereal vocals, but just when you think your safe in the calming waters of dense textures and melancholic vocals, the beat kicks in and knocks you back in your seat with the ferocity of a tidal wave. The grimey Gameboy assault flicks through different vocal samples and chirpy synths as it continues along its development. It’s closer to the minimalist grime of Night Slugs here and often drops back into the opening harmonic movement to give us all well needed break from the continuous battering. It’s the first time in a long while that we’ve come across a release that actually offers up an interesting remix, close if not better than the original. Tessier-Ashpool has been very consistent in bringing something interesting back onto the dance floor, and I think they’ve definitely hit on a winner with this fifth release. We’ve all exhausted our tolerance for boring club music by now and Le Dom has stepped up right up to your face with a release that screams, LISTEN TO ME!