Album Review: Starks and Nacey – TRO/Lydia EP


Starks and Nacey are no strangers to the DC scene. The two are a big part of the city’s hottest dance parties: the electro freakout Nouveau Riche (coming soon to the U Street Music Hall aka “Temple of Boom”) and the hip hop senior prom KIDS. The pair released a self-titled EP last year, showcasing their musical range: from Bmore club (“You Don’t Want None”), to exotic electro (“So Sexy”) and all points in between.

Released today, Time Run Out / Lydia EP (T&A Records) finds the duo going further down the rabbit hole. “Time Run Out” kicks off the EP; with its heart-palpitating rhythm, grimey synth stabs and a rumbling bassline, it builds to a fist-pumping crescendo. The track is a deep, layered beast ready for the dancefloor. Starks gets a little funky on “Lydia,” a Latin house romp that blew up Austin dancefloors throughout SXSW (keep watch for a Moombahton remix). Nacey’s contribution here is “Work for This,” a re-release from the initial EP. The looped horn sample over reverse cymbals gives the song a sexy, hypnotic appeal.

Remix duties are handled by friends of the group. Label-head DJ Ayres gives “Time Run Out” a two-step feel and focuses on the ricochetting synthlines. Both Smalltown Romeo and Sabo take a crack at “Lydia;” the Canadian collective / recent Plant Records signees amp up the electro funk and vocode the vocals, while Sabo takes another route and accentuates the track’s Latin roots. Rounding out the EP is Nouveau Riche partner Gavin Holland’s ravey reworking of “Work for This.” In trademark style, Gavin adds both the drops from Rob Base’s seminal “It takes two” and the smooth synth from Snoop’s “Sexual Eruption,” taking the track to the next level.

Starks and Nacey are currently laying seige to Miami as part of WMC festivities, and EDM fiends of all stripes will eat up the tracks on this EP. But hopefully they’ll also hear tracks from the guys’ first EP, as well. While “Time Run Out” and “Lydia” are fun tracks, there is nothing on the EP as exciting as the disco banger “Lose Your love” or the breathy groove on “Don’t Let Me Go.” Still, TRO/Lydia gives some of DC’s finest DJs a chance to take their game to the next level. And that’s exciting on its own.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS

Grab the EP on Amazon or Juno, and check out Starks and Nacey’s mix for Flashing Lights!

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