Luka Tacon For The Kids EP

A trio of house-music charmers—and a threesome of toughened-up remixes—come courtesy of NYC's Plant label.
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luka tacon for the kids

NYC's Plant Music, founded by Dominique Keegan and then-partner Marcus “Shit Robot” Lambkin late in the last millennium, came up in the heady days of the city's indie-dance scene that also saw the rise of DFA, a label with which Plant shares an intertwined history. And while DFA may have been the flashier of the two labels—having the outspoken James Murphy at the helm, and the like of the Rapture and Murphy's LCD Soundsystem on the roster, might have had something to do with that—Plant has served as more of a musical workhorse, keeping its head down and concentrating on the task issuing a steady output of rock-solid 4/4 grooves.

And that's what you get with this debut EP from Luka Tacon—though "rock-solid" is, in this case, perhaps the wrong term, as the producer, a member of the New York collective known as the Deep, has imbued For The Kids' three midtempo originals with a lightness and buoyancy that skews towards the mellower end of the house spectrum. "Hard Times" starts the EP with some gentle piano work and a smattering of percussive elements; kick, bass, and a subdued and syncopated synth propel the song, while those keys and what sounds like heavily-processed vocals instill the track with something of a yearning feel. "Be There For You" follows a similar template—add its spare bass, to-the-point beats, staccato blips and, again, a bit of EFXed vocal together, and what you end up with is a wistful charmer. Finally, "Mine All Mine" follows a similar template, with the addition of gliding synths giving the tune a less contemplative, more amiable feel.

All three numbers come equipped with remixes, each of which serve to toughen Tacon's low-key, delicate tunes up in various ways. First up, Safer at Night's Luca Venezia, in his Curses guise, adds a touch of late-night malevolence to "Hard Times," a romantically dark, spacious and near-Gothic feel replacing the original's innocence with something more sinister.; the Heartbreaker rerub of "Be There For You," meanwhile, beefs up the beats, revs up the tempo and fills in the empty spaces for a muscular take on the tune, a tactic also employed on the Jefferson 909 version of "Mine All Mine." All three, especially the Curses remix, will find fans with those who like their house on the swaggering side—but Tacon's originals come with an easygoing appeal that, for many, will be hard to beat.