The name of Madrid-based producer Pional (a.k.a. Miguel Barros) is probably recognizable to even some casual listeners of house music, as his association with the critically acclaimed John Talabot has tangentially thrust him into the spotlight. However, while Pional has recorded and toured with Talabot, his own output has thus far been limited to a smattering of limited-edition 12" releases. That is set to change with Invisible/Amenaza, a four-track EP for the UK-based Young Turks label that finds Pional laying his wistful, pop vocals over amenable, disco-informed beats.
The EP kicks off with the title track, which makes smart use of a DFA-lite groove and a funky keyboard rhythm that recalls the warm vibes of classic Chicago house. Pional displays a rare confidence in his falsetto-favoring vocals, placing them front and center in the mix and not burying them under heavy coats of reverb. The track's measured, linear build is reminiscent of Talabot's and Pional's "Blinded" remix of The xx's "Chained," as it gathers momentum in a similar fashion, morphing into a juggernaut of forward motion that seems impossible to slow down. Both "A New Dawn" and "The Shy" utilize elegant melodicism and prototypical dance signifiers, but don't give much away in terms of where Pional's true interests lie. "Invisible/Amenaza (Extended Dub 12" Version)," however, a track that closes out the vinyl version of the EP, is a haunting, Krautrock-leaning take on the title track that finds Pional embellishing with a range of sweeping echoes and eerie, reverb-drenched details that hint at a sense of paranoia and urgency lurking under the surface. While the preceding tracks of Invisble/Amenaza prove Pional's melodic strengths, the final song shows that he's got the potential to explore much darker moods.
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