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  • Filed under: Review
  • 01/15/2013

Philipp Gorbachev Hero of Tomorrow EP

Russian producer and regular Cómeme affiliate Philipp Gorbachev delivers the label's first effort of 2013—a conceptual EP that vaguely follows the story of a fictitious character known as "Rony Douglas," who hails from a place Gorbachev calls "The District" and is assumedly our "Hero of Tomorrow." Given this, it should come as no surprise that the six-track record is unabashedly heavy on the weird, but still finds an ample amount of room to have fun and lay down some unmistakably tantalizing basslines.

Matias Aguayo's Cómeme label has always been an imprint which operates without borders—not only in terms of its truly international roster, but also musically. Gorbachev certainly epitomizes the adventurously transcontinental, cross-genre spirit with which Cómeme operates. Based in Moscow, the tunes he offers on Hero of Tomorrow are part machine-born disco, part lo-fi techno, and part darkwave-geared pop. As the EP runs its course, it's easy to hear how the Russian producer fits into the label's lineage, especially on songs like "I Want You So," "Sweet Regina," and "Last Days of the District," where Gorbachev's own voice wraps bizarre—but not off-putting—phrases atop heavily compressed drums for a sound that is perhaps a more peculiar cousin to Matias Aguyao's 2011 I Don't Smoke EP.

On this EP, Gorbachev freely explores the weirder ends of dance music while utilizing crunchy drums—a mixture of low-end analog machines and roomy, overblown samples—an assortment of Casio-esque keyboard tones, and playful touches of toy-like synths and percussion. The record does deliver its share of moments that are at least interesting, if not wholly unique, but the strangeness with which the artist fearlessly works here is likely to turn off those who prefer their dance music precise and digitally rendered into a hyper-real fullness. Still, whether it's the slow swing and irresistible bassline on "I Love You So" or the spooky cool and—again—delicious bass of "Last Days of the District," it's hard to deny that these tunes are primed to make for some uniquely fun and immersive dancefloor moments.

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