When Matthias Zimmermann first popped up last year on Sound Pellegrino with the Isla Dub EP, the German producer appeared a bit unsure of how exactly to channel his talent—his debut release split equally between melodious, tropical-tinged house music and darker, more cacophonous club fare. A string of similarly worthwhile EPs followed, but Zimmermann still sounded unsure of exactly what shape his various affinities should take. With his latest release, it appears Zimmerman's search for his own sound is still underway, but not without landing in some intriguing territory along the way.
If there's one thing that jumps right out while listening to the Botanica Dub EP, it is the fact that there sure are a lot of drums to be heard. For the most part, the three tracks offered up are funk-tinged house tunes filled with filtered stabs, glowing chords, and seductive basslines. But between all that, Zimmermann fits an—at times—jaw-dropping amount of tight percussion and rapid-fire drums in between his 120-plus-bpm, four-on-the-floor workouts. These extra rhythmic elements are not quite clattering in nature, but are instead used more like miniature FX, filling the space left open by the producer's syncopated rhythms. It's an impressive feat, and one that really adds a unique sound to the EP without going too far with the concept. In other words, even whilst the organized sound arrays fire almost everywhere within the stereo field, it's hard to lose track of the core beat, which remains squarely aimed at the dancefloor.
With its bright, disco-esque samples, interlocked rhythms, and expert craftsmanship, Botanica Dub is a solid EP with an undeniable groove. Still, its three tracks aren't exactly stunning, as they're all essentially chasing after the same idea—a rolling house base plus sampled stabs with an extra infusion of intricate rhythms. In the end, this may not serve to be Zimmerman's breakout effort, but the results here are worthwhile. With the increasing talent he's displayed over the past year, it seems likely that it's only a matter of time before the German producer strikes a resounding chord within the club-music world.