Niño's new EP, Clase du 1984, doesn't quite sound like anything I've heard in a while. Sat somewhere between dubstep, house and minimal the songs that make up this collection ultimately sound machine driven but there are organic elements to them. The resulting EP would feel as at home on Get Physical as Donky Pitch and reminds me of Layo & Bushwacka at their peak on Night Works.
Clase de 1984 consists of five original songs and three remixes based on a selection of these tracks. 'Innsmouth' and 'Buio Omega' are the most memorable tunes here. The former is built from stutters and starts, vocal samples slammed against beats whilst clicks and bleeps converge to make the whole thing sound like a robotic machine waking from a deep sleep. The Kelpe remix beefs up the bass and strips the production back a bit, the result being a track that does two things at once rather than six.
'Buio Omega' succeeds in creating an even more ominous vibe than 'Innsmouth', and with its heavy drum loop, rolling bass and pitched vocals it's the closest things get to dubstep on this release. But frankly this is more exciting than most things I'd label dubstep. The Offshore mix is bouncier and a bit more rowdy but, as with all the mixes here, the move towards simplification seems to miss the point. With Niño less is less.
Title track 'Clase de 1984' feels sunny compared to the rest of the EP, big fat keys painting an additional warmth and light-heartedness across the track that isn't shown elsewhere. 'The Man and The Earth' is little more than a laid back interlude whilst 'Bright Lights Big City' provides a fitting close with a sound that feels like it was made for playing against sunsets.
For electronic music the tracks here are all short - even the longest is just four-and-a-half-minutes, and that includes the remixes. It's therefore impressive that Niño manages to fit so much in to such a short body of work. It does however raise questions about how he could fill a full length release whilst sustaining interest - Clase de 1984 works in a short burst, a one inch punch of a record. Indeed, none of the remixes here add much to the originals and the EP would be more focused without them.
You can check out 'Buio Omega' at XLR8R.
Clase de 1984 is out now on Donky Pitch, available from Amazon.co.uk on MP3 [affiliate link].