Label boss Cinthie and fellow collective member stevn.aint.leavn contribute two tracks apiece on this split EP
German label Beste Modus give over what is only their 11th release (there've been four Beste Freunden EPs as well as the Beste Modus 01, 02, etc series) to a split venture between Cinthie and stevn.aint.leavn, with two tracks from each.
Cinthie's Back To Garage opens the EP, and suffice to say it's very aptly named. "Garage" in this instance would refer to the raw, bumpin' sound of New Jersey as peddled by labels like Movin' and Eight Ball back in the early 00s, and with its skippy beats, full-phat bassline, cut-up soulful male vocals and gorgeous Rhodes chords, Cinthie's captured that vibe perfectly. Her other contribution to the EP is Holdem, which operates in similar territory but has more of a quirky/experimental edge with its off-kilter, indecipherable, chopped n' looped vocal - early Madhouse would be a good reference point here.
Moving on to stevn.aint.leavn's two offerings, and first up is Isn't It. This is a pleasingly stripped n' chuggin' houser built for keeping locked-on floors moving through till dawn with some ace understated space disco stabs, twitchy beats and sweeping synth chords. That's followed by Sub Marino, which is a more percussive, tracky affair. To these ears it doesn't quite live up to the standard of the other three, but it'll do the do on the floor all the same - and it's only fair to point out I'm not really the man for drum-led cuts at the best of times! Like Isn't It, it's also pretty pacey by current standards.
Back To Garage stands out for me but this is a strong EP all round from the Berlin stable.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 19 May
Review Score: 8