Released via Major Problems, DJ Après Ski’s eponymous EP promises “chord memory house” and “wobbly-jawed electro,” and it delivers. Green run track ‘Apres Ski’ starts the EP on a smooth gradient as nuanced kicks sit against whispered hi-hats. Atmospheric bird sounds early in the development signal at something freakier to come as an ascending conga drum motif begins to drive the rest of the track, making room for a sumptuous soft synth foundation. Against this, further bird calls, staccato synths and blown whistles coated in delay are injected to create a richer soundscape.
‘Safety Area’ is ironically a more rambunctious track, brought forward by elongated, overdriven kicks. A bloopy synth lead sits atop the mix holding the refrain for the whole 5 minute run. Slowly building without feeling like it drags, Après Ski regularly punctuates the track with retreating tape delay synth calls that inject some higher sound spectrum activity.
‘Aquapump Softliner (Off Piste mix)’ slows the pace. Smooth, rising synths sit harmoniously against chugging drum work, only to be contrasted against sawtooth synth leads. A disappointingly short duration of 2:10, the track almost ends before it begins. Back into clubland tempo ‘Aquapump Softliner’ (on piste) stays on course leaving plenty of working room for competing layers of mellifluous, nostalgia-invoking synths filling you with warm feelings you can’t quite put your finger on. The track develops masterfully without a hint of overcrowding as certain track elements rise up and fall away symbiotically.
An accomplished release then from what appears to be DJ Apres Ski’s debut EP, or at least the first under this moniker. Playful hints from their Bandcamp page such as ‘Mixed by Somebody’s Dad?’ imply that this isn’t their first time at the lodge.
Après Ski is out now on Major Problems – buy in vinyl or digital format direct from the label.