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  • Filed under: Review
  • 08/02/2012

Citizen Room Service EP

After launching its so-far vinyl-only imprint with Bicep's enticing "$tripper," club night-turned-label Love Fever has returned with an equally seductive 12" from Citizen. Across three tracks—one of which enlists the unpredictable talents of Jimmy Edgar—the burgeoning London producer displays a further maturing of his abilities and comes up with a release that equals the young label's previous offering in dancefloor potency.

The title track is the record's most straightforward, a churning house number complete with clattering hats, reverb-laden percussion hits, chopped and sequenced vocal samples, juicy chords, rolling bass, and just a touch of garage swing. The seven-plus-minute production is tailor made for DJs, with a lengthy build-up that eventually gives way to the chord progression—a pulsating pattern of soulful, buzzing synths, filtered throughout. Citizen's proficiency with the lower end of the sound spectrum (a talent that's largely helped shape his rise in London's production scene) is further showcased on "Room Service," a tune that in some ways resembles the output of UK tunesmith Julio Bashmore, in that the bass is thick and rounded, yet still precisely in sync with the chords it accompanies. But where Bashmore's productions are almost otherworldly in their density, Citizen seems to give up just a bit of that depth in exchange for an extra injection of mid-range warmth. It's an exchange that works well across the entire EP.

Jimmy Edgar lends a hand to the b-side's lead cut, "Deeper Touch," working the song into a stripped-down, but no less infectious affair. Leaving a simple sequence of syncopated bass and chord stabs largely untouched, the powerfully efficient production uses alternating patterns of tuned micro-percussion, intricate hat assemblages, and snare rolls to fill in the sparse arrangement—the various twists and turns of which make for a fantastically funky cut. The closing "You Give Me That Something" follows, bookending the EP with a disco-tinged roller that's not too far off from its a-side counterpart, though here the chords and vocal layers are allowed to float more freely atop the thick low end. It's a dreamier effort, but one that still packs plenty of punch for the dancefloor.

With only two offerings to its name, Love Fever has quickly become one of the most essential new imprints to appear this year. And though its limited vinyl runs may leave digital DJs out in the cold, the wax diggers now have two surefire 12"s from the label to bolster their musical arsenals.

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