Folk N Rock
Spotlight EP: ‘So Now What?’ EDM House

EDM House, the production duo signed to Amarrai Cabell’s BHD Factory label, has finally unleashed their debut EP. This marks a pretty cool milestone for the group, who’ve been diligently honing their sound over the past few years. Their first single, “Hero,” which is included on the EP, dropped in 2022. Now, with a collection of fresh tracks at their disposal, EDM House is ready to showcase their full potential. We’ll be dissecting the EP, track by track, to see what they’re all about.

The debut EP from EDM House wastes no time making a statement. The opening track, aptly titled “The City,” threw me right into a vibrant ocean of sound. Tiny, playful sound effects flit across the stereo field, creating a sense of anticipation before a whooshing wave engulfs the mix. This seamlessly transitions into a bed of shimmering piano keys that quickly establishes itself – the melody is undeniably catchy, making its way nicely through the mix.

But the star of the show here is the piano work. It’s exceptional, cascading with warmth and brilliance. The notes take center stage for a moment before everything gracefully dips into silence. This brief pause allows the melody to breathe, creating a nice moment before the pounding bass and percussion surge back in.

They cleverly push the keywork even further, into the higher registers. The effect is very cool – a unique combination of power and elegance. As the track progresses, the shimmering electric effect reappears, adding another layer to the unfolding track.

“The City” is a great first impression. And I think right from the start there is a clear indication that EDM House possesses a sophisticated understanding of how to build tension, layer textures, and ultimately deliver a truly impressive experience.

“Back from the City,” a fitting sequel to the EP’s opener, continues the exploration of contrasting textures. It opens with playful synth lines swirling against an eerie, slightly static-tinged effect that creates an immediate sense of atmosphere. The steady pulse of the percussion soon joins in, setting a cool foundation for the track. Keys playfully make their way in, echoing the rhythm for a moment before the beat bursts into a full-throttle explosion of energy.

This is a pure electronic track, brimming with vibrant energy and infectious melodies. The melody did a great job of getting my head. Just before the halfway mark, a new clattering percussion element is introduced, adding a new layer of complexity and a sense of surprise to the mix. This fresh element complements the main synth melody as the song returns to its core groove.

The percussion, once again, ramps up in intensity, driving the track into its final breakdown. Finally, the same eerie tone that signaled the song’s opening reemerges, gracefully fading out and leaving a lingering echo in its wake. The interplay between these contrasting elements – the playful synths, the steady percussion, and the eerie atmospheric effect – is what makes “Back from the City” such a great listen.

“Benu” takes a sharp turn, diving headfirst into a more traditional synth-driven sounds. The track opens with a familiar warmth, the synth melody creating a hypnotic spell. Soon after, the rhythmic heart of the song begins to take shape – a steady percussive layer laid down with precision.

Then comes the main beat, an infectious groove. In the background, a subtle, wave-like effect washes over the mix, creating a sense of spaciousness and echoing the beat in a really cool ripple effect. This detail is a stroke of genius, adding an otherworldly atmosphere that truly elevates the track.

It’s impossible not to be taken in by the sheer power of the beat in “Benu.” Around the one-minute mark, the intensity takes a temporary dip, allowing you a moment to catch their breath before being swept back into the swirling vortex of the main beat. The track fades out in a similar fashion to its intro, the hypnotic synth melody and the echoing wave effect gently receding until they vanish completely.

“Hero” distinguishes itself with a gentle, chime-like opening – a sonic lullaby that soothes the senses. This delicate intro doesn’t overstay its welcome. It quickly melts away, making room for shimmering keyboard work that adds a touch of brightness and hints at the energy that’s about to explode across the track.

And then the main beat hits. Here, the deep and powerful percussion elements finally get a true chance to shine. The production work throughout “Hero” is truly exceptional, offering each layer a chance to radiate. EDM House then throws throws in a curveball with an effect that evokes the scratch of a classic hip-hop record. This element adds yet another dimension of coolness to the piece.

The lullaby-like tone from the intro makes a welcome reappearance, adding a touch of softness to a track dominated by hard beats. This contrast makes “Hero” a great on the EP. It’s a track with serious range, proving that EDM House will play with many textures and conflicting moods.

“Fight Fire with Water” throws in some chiming effects dance across the mix, their playful melody switched with a “ratatat tatty” style beat that lays down a good foundation. The main percussion line emerges, a powerful thump that goes through both earpieces. Here’s where EDM House showcases their mastery of the stereo field.

Around the 52-second mark, the track takes a bit of a turn. The intensity dips, for another moment of respite as those enchanting chiming tones return to the forefront. The “ratatat tatty” sound strategically re-enters the mix, this time with a twist – it seems to pan across the stereo field as well, deeper tones hitting in the left ear while the main, militaristic snare explodes through both. This clever use of panning adds a layer of spatial awareness. The result is a track that’s both energetic and strangely eerie.

The EP takes a turn as it reaches its conclusion with “Arda Guler,” the only track featuring vocals. From the first moments, a stark contrast sets in. A vintage radio voice announces “this is a world premiere.” Then, the gentle strumming of what sounds like, but I think is being done with electronics, acoustic string comes in. A stark departure from the hard electronic foundation of the preceding tracks.

There’s something enigmatic about this track. Light humming weaves in and out, possibly an understated vocal riff, creating a sense of mystery. Around the 53-second mark, another vocal layer emerges – muffled, distorted, and infused with an almost spoken-word quality. The effect is really, adding a depth to the minimalist instrumentation.

EDM House has crafted something truly special with their debut EP. It’s a quick-hitting, six-track adventure that masterfully pulls you into its unique world. This release showcases a level of maturity and artistry that belies their newcomer status – it’s a remarkably strong debut.

While every track resonated with me, what stands out is the group’s sophisticated use of diverse textures and arrangements. Their percussion elements add a vibrant energy, often pushing beyond the expected patterns to create many awesome moments. Combined with shimmering tones and carefully-crafted layers, the overall sounds they craft feel full and complete.

This EP is going straight into my rotation. Each track holds its own, offering a unique contribution to the whole. EDM House has proven themselves to be artists worth watching. I’m excited to see what they do next.

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Scott