Rafael Cerato Sekater EP - XLR8R

Rafael Cerato Sekater EP

The latest from Marc Romboy's Systematic label delivers the tech-house goods with aplomb and clarity.
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Sekater  Rafael Cerato

Marc Romboy has been on fire over the last 12 months—and so has his label, Systematic Recordings. After using the imprint as a springboard for some of his own original and remix work to date yet—as well as for the recent inauguration of its colored-vinyl EP series—Romboy has focused attention on a new crop of fresh name discoveries, including Rafael Cerato, who returns to the imprint fully-equipped with high octane, progressive techno via the Sekater EP.

As the first few bars of the title track kick in, it's easy to see how this tidy collection fits into the label's sound as a whole, while also brandishing the hallmark touches of Romboy's own uplifting, yet head-down tech-house sound. With its melodic touches and driving, low-end rhythm, the cut's already been rinsed by the likes of DJ Tennis and Romboy himself; its layers of melodic touches and major tonal chords keep the pace moving full-force.

Next up, "Heroes" brings with it a moody vibe, starting with eerie and foreboding effects, and sonic charges flying in and out of earshot. A snapping breakbeat soon morphs into a techno thump, while that trademark Systematic sub/mid-range bass pulses underneath; the drop releases swathes of radar-like melodies and cowbell percussion. It's a serving of serious dancefloor fare for the most itchy of crowds.

After the sheer weight of that track, respite comes in the form of "Conkistador" with its nuanced, uplifting tone and major-tone bassline contributing to an irresistible swing, and a driving tempo that ramps up every 12 bars. This one feels more techno than tech-house, more roughly cut and reflective of "Lieb Ist"–era Stephan Bodzin.

Closing the EP is "Vertige"—and as its name suggests, things gets lofty with its soaring and pulsing lead synth melody, containing a sharp and spiky inner-edge and a core that fluctuates between swathes of warming sub-bass and razored, metronomic percussion. It's a great track to end with, with Sekater standing as yet more proof that Romboy's got the ear for talent—Cerato delivers the goods with aplomb and clarity.