Anecdotal evidence from the new-in trays of record shops have recently shown that the sounds of the ’90s are hurtling back into fashion. Adding to this canon of nu-hardcore, enigmatic debut producer Ruud Jansen (certainly a pseudonym) serves up a 6-part EP of euphoric and melodic sounds with the Dutch Dream Girls EP. A varied outing incoming via Mothball Record, there’s a distinctly ’90s thread running throughout – tracks range from wonky acid to the kind of Balearic tunes your dad would jockey to his captive audience on lengthy car journeys. As an EP it’s nostalgic without mollycoddling its source adding fresh takes, applying modern production techniques, and implementing an eyebrow raising decision to throw the full vocal from The Stone Roses’ ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ over a slow breaks jam for EP finisher ‘Closed Doors’ (which admittedly I grew to love).
The B1, and this reviewer’s highlight, ‘Super U’ opens up with fat kicks and tough sounding snares – steady hi-hat work is the order of the day as a sub bass wubs almost imperceptibly but adding body to the track. The main motif comes in the form of fist-pumping synth stabs that carry through the whole piece sitting front-and-centre of the mix. A subtle amen joins the party almost a minute in, completing the hardcore referencing as ethereal “ooo”s add a very trademark dutch trance sound signature to proceedings. Bleeping dub sirens glide up and down in the mix, signalling Casio-esque preset pads to give a brief respite halfway through the track. It can’t be overstated how flush everything sits in Jansen’s mix, and what appears quite a simple dutch trance pastiche is actually quite nuanced upon a close listen. Dig around in the back of your drawers for the Matrix-style rave shades you wore on your school trip to France and play this at your local squat party.
The Dutch Dream Girls EP is out September 28th on Mothball Record.