As Crosstown Rebels approach their 100th release they show little signs of showing and this debut release from Francesca Lombardo instantly marks her out as one to watch.
Classically trained in piano, Lombardo transitioned to electronic music and started work on Changes after a chance meet with Crosstown Rebels label owner Damian Lazarus at the Miami Winter Music Conference last year. Taking twelve months to create the result is an EP that evidences a producer's hand much more refined than you would expect from a debut release yet. It's a varied suite though - the subtler moments balanced at times with more overtly dance floor focused tracks.
Things open with the title track. Of the four songs included here it is one of the more balanced moments, a groove based minimal tech cut. Expect filtered and distorted vocals and some big melodic keys contrasting a big kick drum.
Next up is the ethereal 'Is It True', an atmospheric piece with brittle vocals and watery echoes. It certainly isn't a dance floor cut despite some big bass and at times large drums. The melodic synth that creates the track's climax and plays out to the end mirrors a sparse beauty in this track and as good as 'Changes' is it is helplessly out-outshined here.
On side B 'Old School Anna' is the most focused dance track, a Detroit influenced minimal track with jacking drums and hi-hats. It's a pretty amazing contrast to know this came from the same head as 'Is It True' and yet I can't help but admire the ambition and versatility in that contrast. The EP closes with 'Sofiel', which maintains a tight bassline and some shuffling drum patterns whilst treating itself with a series of warm melodic pads and a lush progressive ambience.
Changes is released through Crosstown Rebels on 16 July on vinyl and 30 July digitally. You can pre-order the digital release through Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link].
Get a taste of Lombardo's work by streaming her Crosstown Rebels mix on Soundcloud below: