Before his debut long-player arrives later this year, Bambounou is offering up a brief, bass-centric dispatch in the form of the three-track Cobe EP. Here, more than ever before, the Parisian tunesmith strips back the slippery chords, woozy melodies, and extra bells and whistles which marked his previous work, favoring instead a more efficient sound that's focused—above all else—on concocting massive rhythms.
There is little house-related material to be found on Cobe. On the contrary, the tracks here more resemble Untold circa "No One Likes a Smart Arse" or an even more machine-minded Pangea. This is tough bass music—singed at the edges with just a touch of overdriven crunch and defined as much by its negative sonic space as it is by the elements which fill it in. Alternating patterns of tuned percussion and monstrous low end create almost tribal rhythms, all of it anchored by a single hat which hits on the upbeats directly in between where the 4/4 kicks would normally be. Each of the EP's tracks dresses up this formula in a slightly different manner. The opening "Chrome" leans heavy on a half-time snare, throwing space-age FX and shuffling hats on top, while the following "Mass" eventually locks tuned tambourines, thick kicks, and a stuttering vocal phrase into a chopped groove. The closing "Deepstaria" comes complete with the most adornments, lacing an almost electro-boogie beat with acid-tinged arps and a gurgling, bouncing bass that serves more of an essential purpose due to its melodic line than its low-end content.
As the EP runs its course, the exact sources of its sounds are almost impossible to detect. Each element is robust and vivid but still hints at being a bit untamed, as if they had emanated from pieces of unruly hardware. On the flipside though, the patterns are assembled with an immense intricacy, fitting together in such a way that the aid of a computer was most likely necessary. In truth, there is probably a hybrid at play, one which well serves Bambounou's continued movement towards more efficient dancefloor weapons.