EP Roundup: DJ Ayres / Cedaa / Derek Allen

Rather than following artists for new releases, sometimes it’s best to follow record labels. Here are three new offerings from some of the most reliable, tastemaking labels in existence.

DJ AyresI’d Fuck Me EP (T&A Records)

Based on its title and cover alone (both homages to Silence of the Lambs), listeners might expect something darker here. But fear not: DJ Ayres isn’t Buffalo Bill – he just starts parties. “Flashing Lights” (named after a party that Ayres threw with Nick Catchdubs and Jubilee) is disco house theme music with a funky bassline that’s more Studio 54 than Public Assembly. “Liberation” is the kind of soulful tech house that collaborators Nadastrom are known for. It wouldn’t be a T&A release these days without a tropical jam: the evocatively-titled “Panty Crickets” fills that void with tribal drums, squeaky synths and an pitch-perfect rave whistle. The Tomb Crew, Swick and Grandtheft try to hypercharge these tracks, but sometimes the direct approach is best.


CedaaJasmin EP (B.YRSLF division)

I’ve been following Cedaa’s juke-inflected future bass for a while now. The follow up to the Old Growth EP is definitely more mellow, with the juke beats a pulse rather than an explosion. On title track “Jasmin,” saccharine synths play against guttural chanting. There isn’t much of Japan in “Nippon,” just an elastic melody and industrial undercurrents. Two collaborations round out the originals: “20K,” with Distal, might refer to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, as it’s aquatic effects and waves of bass get pretty deep. “Windbreaker” with Slick Shoota is a juke-meets-rave banger complete with break beats, diva vox and airhorns. Remixes by Myrryrs, Chaos in the CBD, Sine, and DJ Hilti round out the EP and provide four new names to watch out for.


Derek AllenDJA EP (Mad Decent)

Long-time Mad Decent affiliate Derek Allen comes out from behind the boards for his debut record. Allen’s vocals are the perfect complement for these luvstep jams, his hip-hop and bass production skills on full display. Drums thunder on “Trying to Come Alive” and synths wobble on “Shoulda Listened;” the autotune on “Trying to Come Alive” is the EP’s rare misstep. “Susperia” (featuring Top Billin) feels like an 808s & Heartbreak outtake. Allen’s cover of “Spirits in the Material World” by The Police updates the song for the 21st century. The depth of the Mad Decent roster continues to impress.

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