Keeping their catalogue fresh, fierce and free from any stylistic ties, Hell Yeah follow the star-crossed house of Verdo and acid-laced cosmic of Quiroga with a Mediterranean masterpiece from expert ex-pat Max Essa. Label head Sun Marco (you heard it here first) describes this peaceful platter as the most Balearic record he's ever released, though it could well be the most Balearic record anyone's ever released. For starters, the A-side features a White Isle odyssey in four parts, while the flip buys us a drink at a rundown beach bar before inviting us for a walk down the coast.
After bonding over a shared love of literature and sake, Marco made his play for Essa, encouraging the international man of mastery to create his finest work for the Italian label. Stretching across the A-side with a sunkissed contentment, the ambitious and expressive "Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely" conjures images of lapping waves and swaying trees, a coastal coda to the bliss and breeze of a lazy summer day. Stately and serene, the track glides through eleven minutes of symphonic synthwork, fragile piano and eastern melodies - a dreamy vignette viewed through the blur of heat haze. It feels like falling in love every time you hear it.
On the B1, "Saguaro" crystallizes everything excellent about a Max Essa production into one perfect serving of circular sequences, languid bass and East Asian tonality. Genki but not quite kawai, this comforting combination rolls along at a relaxed pace, bathing in the reflected beauty of the sun on the sea. Finally we drift into a dreamstate to the horizontal majesty of "Buran Chime", a song for siestas and the 'Subtle Body'. Phasing waveforms murmur like distant air traffic, naive percussion keeps a languorous rhythm and expansive pads summon the poolside peace of a permanent vacation. As that immersive soundscape eases us out of our everyday worries, cool cor anglais and FM brass bring a smile to our sunblushed faces. It's a treasure.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Max Essa lands on the mighty Hell Yeah with his finest work to date. The perfect marriage of ambition and execution, the EP offers all the comforts of the coast without the price of the air fare. As Balearic as it gets and a thing of true beauty, this is music to be cherished.