As you probably heard recently, Marble is a new dance label launched by Para One, Surkin and Bobmo. We already told you these three have began sharing recording space less than a year ago, and soon spent some time jamming and producing together. Surkin and Bobmo already had their High Powered Boys project, but this new unit, christened Marble Players, is a bit more hardware-oriented, and involves multiple analog/digital mutations ; a typical day in the studio would be Bobmo coming up with a vocal digital sample, then Para replaying it on his SP12, then giving it back to Surkin so he can add his own Reason-based beats – you get the picture. Generally, there's a just a strong taste for manipulating sound as a physical thing in the way Marble Players play. So here’s the Marble Anthem EP by Marble Players, Marble’s first release, made of two tracks, both featuring proper marble sounds.
"Marble Anthem" is a martial, marble-based riddim thing, reminding Swizz Beatz "It’s Me Bitches" classic hit, as well as Neptunes ghost-membered grooves like "Grindin" or "Mr Me Too", but also another marble-heavy track, Aphex Twin's "Bucephalus Bouncing Balls". Starting with nastified soul cut-up vocals, it features a monster slo-mo morse code riff, like a UK hardcore spectre, hiding or shape-shifting as the track goes on, floating and bouncing on a bodily, highly pressurized groove. This could well be big room house music if Ibiza was relocated in Rotterdam – or maybe Kinshasa ? But what it definitely is, is the Parisian, vicious, avant-garde version of big room house : no predictable breakdowns and uselessly dramatic chords, just unaltered dancefloor mayhem. This is not feminine, joyful material, let’s be honest, but the darkness and the grayness have something eerily sensuous. And even though it might be weirder than the boys’ previous stuff, it's also really straight and "that's just how we do"-spirited.
"Playground" rides a slightly more classic, 4-4 field, even if it keeps working this whole idea of "mainroom house gone wrong". Based on a blunt, percolating drum track and an idiotically irresistible bassline, it’s constantly disturbed by marble sounds and ear-piercing hi-hats infiltrating the groove and making it all the more loveable and full of tiny, crisp syncopations. Simple, proficient, tasty and rich with palatable matter – no matter what the people say, these sounds lead the way.
Summer’s here, and following their late winter-early spring installment, the Marble Players Para One, Bobmo and Surkinhave something warmer and easier to show you. This is the Marble Summer EP.
« Let You Go » is just the bomb. A feeling from nineties hedonistic, horny French dance music is definitely on, complete with multiple vocals from the goddessess of joy, engaged in a dialogue with each other about what they’re gonna do after sunset. The bass has massive feel-good-feel-cool potential while the strings and keys are making the whole thing lightly deeper and briefly romantic. An exhilarating triumph of emotional confusion, miraculously enclosed in one single club hit.
« Paris is Burning » opens up with a sample from the eponymous classic documentary movie about NYC vogue scene in the late eighties. The track itself is all feverish pumping beats and in-your-face bass, infused with a vintage NYC Tenaglia/Vasquez dark, tribal feeling. Get ready Ibiza. Get ready Miami. Get ready, World.
« Wipe Out » is the summer riddim, a juvenile Riviera cousin of « Marble Anthem » or « Girly ». Glittering vocal bits and bittersweet organ chords switch to big deafening bass, hi-res dominatrix synths and punishing electrofunk beats. Just let yourself whip by the heat.
« Minute of Love » is just what it says except it’s actually three minutes and a half. It’s a midtempo house ballad featuring gliding keyboard washes, clavinova stabs and melancholy whistles, reactivating a long-lost summer rammed with hazy sex sensations and life-changing reflective lights. A soundtrack for the end of love – or for its very beginning.