Klaves Say It EP

The young Polish producer comes up with a pair of playful house tunes for the Let's Play House label.
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Sometimes, in house music as elsewhere, you don't need a lot of time to say what you want to say or to do what you want to do—and that's the case with the title track of this new EP from Mikolaj "Klaves" Gramowsk, his follow up to last year's excellent "People"/"Oh No" twelve-inch on the PMR Beat Club imprint. The new release's title track clocks in at just over four minutes, a run time that's more commonly with pop tunes than house cuts. But even though the Polish producer, releasing this time on New York's Let's Play House label, has made it with the dancefloor in mind, "Say It" is pop at its core. Evoking equal parts joy and melancholy, Klaves layers a spectral-soul vocal sample (a plaintive "don't be the first to say it") over a breezy, organ-led melody line, as unadorned as can be. Anchored by frisky percussion that comes across as a looser-limbed version of any number of classic Victor Simonelli productions from his days with the Sub-Urban label, it's an simple, direct, smile-on-your-face tune, the kind of dance music that's hard not to like.

Swedish producer Baba Stiltz's version of "Say It" is a bit more linear, percussion-wise—the rhythm is a bit less garagey, a bit more straight-up housey—but otherwise, the Studio Barnhus artist opts to go pleasingly weird around the song's edges. Using decayed remnants of the vocal sample and lightly distorted piano chords as the hooks, the remix tosses in weirdly jazzy sub-bass and whistling synth, an insistent string line, a helter-skelter arrangement and an overall crackly production technique to fine effect. It's both a bit goofy—and kind of diabolical sounding, actually. Finally, it's back to slightly more traditional house on "Awake, defined by a swingy groove, propulsive vocal samples, and what sound like psyche-soul string and guitar bits—it's syncopated, stripped down and very effective. Like "Say It," it's somewhat short but very sweet—and all the better for it.